H08
Pharmaceuticals, patents & access to medicines

Convenors:
Ken Shadlen (LSE)
Location:
E5
Start time:
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

Pharmaceuticals can be a vital sector for health as well as industrial development. Yet, vast inequalities are present in terms of access to affordable and effective medicines around the world. This session involves a range of papers which focus on various issues related to pharmaceuticals in the global South, an often overlooked sector within development studies, yet one where significant global inequalities are present. Topics include local production of drugs, promotion of generic medicines, and the relationship between trade agreements, patents, and drug prices.

Long abstract:

Pharmaceuticals can be a vital sector for health as well as industrial development. Yet, vast inequalities are present in terms of access to affordable and effective medicines around the world. Intellectual property protection is hugely significant and controversial in the pharmaceutical sector, and has increased in both scope and duration in much of the global South over the last two decades, mostly driven by Northern interests. While some claim it can promote innovation, enhanced patent coverage has often been a barrier to delay the entry of generic competition. Meanwhile, various other factors in the generic pharmaceuticals also potentially affect access to medicines, including trade regime and regulatory framework, and involve distinct national variations. In some countries, renewed efforts have been made at supporting local production in order to increase domestic capacities to increase access to medicines. This session involves a range of papers which focus on various issues related to pharmaceuticals in the global South, an often overlooked sector within development studies, yet one where significant global inequalities are present.

Accepted Papers: