Pharmaceuticals in Developing and Emerging Economies: Production, Innovation, and Access to Medicine

Venue: Hyderabad

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Event Date/Time: Sep 17, 2010 End Date/Time: Sep 19, 2010
Registration Date: Sep 01, 2010
Early Registration Date: Jul 01, 2010
Abstract Submission Date: Jun 01, 2010
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Pharmaceuticals in Developing and Emerging Economies: Production, Innovation, and Access to Medicines in the wake of TRIPS

Friday 17 September – Sunday 19 September 2010
Venue: University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India

Co-sponsored by the University of Hyderabad and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

The conference will examine the state of drug production and innovation in the global South in the wake of the implementation of TRIPS-mandated intellectual property rights. The interface between industrial capabilities, and access to essential medicines, is a second major theme. The aim is to provide a landmark assessment of these critical areas in global health and development.

This event provides a unique opportunity for researchers, policy makers, public health advocates, and industry representatives to deliberate on the economics and politics of the pharmaceutical industry and access to medicines, across the developing and emerging economies.

The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement imposes global minimum standards for intellectual property protection to be phased in across all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The stated purpose is to improve the conditions for innovation and technology transfer – for the benefit not only of incumbent industry leaders but also developing and emerging economies.

It is not evident however that the overall gap in the global pharmaceutical industry between developed and developing countries has diminished. The global drug market and global health research remain dominated by North America, Europe and Japan. These regions account for around 75% of global sales and more than 90% of global health-related research. From this perspective, TRIPS would seem to impose a ‘one size fits all’ model on the developing countries, notwithstanding different health needs or stage of economic development.

Yet firms and research organisations in some emerging economies have established a significant presence in global innovation and production networks. India is the outstanding case and countries such as China, Brazil, Cuba, Thailand and South Africa also have notable capabilities. But there is scarce systematic knowledge of the present state and future prospects of pharmaceutical production and innovation across the global South – a deficiency addressed by this conference. Among the papers presented will be detailed studies of the impact of TRIPS on the pharmaceutical industry and public health in particular countries in all major regions of the developing world.

Organising Committee
Dr Hans Lofgren (Chair), Deakin University, Australia
Dr J. Manohar Rao, University of Hyderabad, India
Dr G. Vijay, University of Hyderabad, India
Ms Chippy Sunil, Deakin University, Australia
Keynote speaker

* To be announced soon

Invited speakers include

* To be announced soon

Conference streams

1. The pharmaceutical industry in the global South: country studies

A central purpose of the conference is to generate knowledge of the state of drug industry production and innovation across the global South in the wake of TRIPS. We invite papers that present general country studies, including reports on medium-sized and smaller developing countries which have been largely neglected in the international literature. Regional sessions will be organised for papers on South America, Africa and different parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

2. TRIPS and national flexibilities: cases and disputes

Changes introduced in intellectual property rights legislation to provide for TRIPS compliance have different effects on different segments of the pharmaceutical industry and the general population. The implications are typically significant for the availability of affordable medicines and the nature of drug innovation and production. Papers in this stream will focus on policy and legal rulings regarding patenting, compulsory licensing, ‘data protection’, and related issues pertaining to the flexibilities available under TRIPS.

3. Access to appropriate and affordable medicines

Access to appropriate and affordable medicines should be universally equitable and sustainable. Essential medicines lists are used in many developing countries to select and prioritise appropriate medicines. Related measures include support for generic drugs, bulk purchasing, and price control schemes. There has also been significant recent activity to foster innovation through private-public partnerships such as the Medicines for Malaria Venture, the TB Alliance, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. There is an intense global debate on the potential of prize systems to stimulate innovation. We invite papers that address issues of affordable access, and innovation initiatives addressing the needs of the poor.

4. Business strategies in the pharmaceutical industry: perspectives from the South

Mergers and acquisitions, and the reengineering of corporate structures, including increased reliance on outsourcing and external collaborations, suggest far-reaching changes in the global pharmaceutical industry. The politics of drug regulation is intense in both developed and developing countries, and include issues of appropriate marketing, safety regulation, cost-effectiveness assessments, and reimbursement and insurance arrangements. Here we invite papers that address, from the perspective of the South, global industry developments and corporate strategies. This could include the role and strategies of companies headquartered in countries such as India, China, South Africa and Brazil.

5. Pharmaceutical manufacturing in the South: political, economic, social and environmental dimensions

A growing proportion of the global production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished drugs is located in developing countries, particularly India and China. Hyderabad is an example of a significant clustering of drug manufacturing activities. Licensing and outsourcing arrangements are common but international companies at times also make direct investments in manufacturing facilities in developing countries. We are calling for papers that address the political, economic, social and environmental implications of pharmaceutical manufacturing in developing and emerging economies.