Governing pharmaceutical innovations in Africa: inclusive models for accelerating access to quality medicines

Frederick Ahen, Outi Salo-Ahen

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Abstract

The recent expiration of several blockbuster pharmaceutical patents offers new opportunities for generic drug production in Africa. Moreover, 2015 marked a critical juncture; a transition from the Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. The implications for African economies in the area of generic drug production and global health outcomes are vast given the potential to increase access to medicines for neglected diseases and other emerging health crises. This issue-based article analyses the extent to which several coeval variables of governance and macro-economic nature can potentially create the market and institutional conditions to spur innovations for improving access to medicine via cross-sector social partnerships. Proposals for solving grand challenges in Africa’s pharmaceutical markets often fail to address the most fundamental impediments to innovation, besides being mostly donor-driven. Through document analysis, we problematize conventional formulae for healthcare governance with a measured critique of prevailing orthodoxies by offering implementable alternatives. We propose inclusive, innovative models for marshalling sustainable access to high-quality affordable medicine. We identify bottom-up and entrepreneurially viable strategic reversal of decades of systematic damages that have contributed to the underdeveloped pharmaceutical market, whilst striking a reasonable balance between what the desirable future is and what can set the stage for a durable change through game-changing market and innovative mechanisms.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1–22
JournalCogent Medicine
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • inclusive business
  • pharmaceutical market
  • International business
  • institutional innovations
  • access to medicines
  • sustainable global health
  • Africa
  • mitigation policies

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