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Innovation in Pharma and Equity in Health Systems


Prof Jo Chataway, The Open University
Rebecca Hanlin, The Open University
Prof Luigi Orsenigo, The Open Universit
Prof Maureen Mackintosh, The Open University
Prof Mariana Mazzucato, The Open University
Prof Sebastiao Loureiro, PECS, Bahia, Brazil
Dr Paula Tibandebage, Senior Researcher (REPOA), Tanzania


INNOGEN: ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics
Workshops have been co-funded by ABRASCO


The case of health care represents a crucial issue and "example" in the analysis of the interrelations between innovation and inequality.

The project seeks to tackle the issue by bringing together an understanding of the construction of capabilities in innovation and manufacturing, and the construction of health system capability to deliver access and lower inequity.

The core questions we ask are:

  • How do different health care systems promote and diffuse innovation (use of new drugs and/or treatments)?
  • What is the relationship- if any - between innovation and industrial policies, on the one hand, and health policies towards health system restructuring and health equity on the other?
  • What is - if any - the trade-off between innovation in pharmaceuticals (favouring diffusion of new drugs and treatments) and equity of access (both to new drugs and to old drugs)?

We plan to study these questions in sharply differing empirical contexts:

  1. middle income countries and others which have R&D elements in their pharmaceutical sector, and widely divergent health systems (e.g. Brazil, China and also India).
  2. low income countries where a major industrial policy issue is the construction (or not) of production and supply of essential medicines (e.g. Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria).


12-15 May 2008 - Innovation in Pharma and Equity in Health Systems

16 July 2007, Brazil - Innovation and Equity in Health


Prof Maureen Mackintosh,

Contact us

To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:

International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502