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n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Exploring a regional pharmaceutical innovation network as a possible solution to the market failure in the innovation of essential medicines for tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Abstract

From an economic reasoning perspective, pharmaceutical research and development operates as a pure market activity. This viewpoint suggests innovations are receptive to questions of commerce. It is on this basis the pharmaceutical industry has undervalued the innovation of medicines for diseases that disproportionately affect the poor. Nevertheless, this fundamental thinking overlaps with a social norms standpoint, which dictates that pharmaceutical companies have a moral duty to classify the innovation of medicines for the poor as humanitarian goods as opposed to economic commodities. Notwithstanding the advancement of key social norms to that effect, the lack of innovative medicines for the treatment of tropical diseases is still not a realistic proposition. It is with this complexity in mind this article explores the feasibility of a regional pharmaceutical innovation network as a possible solution to the market failure in the innovation of essential medicines for the treatment of tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. Consequently, it is argued that sub-Saharan African countries must intervene to collectively fund domestic pharmaceutical innovation through a regional network, given that the current global economic arrangement makes it challenging for the pharmaceutical industry to innovate medicines for the treatment of tropical diseases without the prospect of recouping costs of investments.

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/content/aa_ajstid/6/2/EJC160377
2014-01-01
2019-10-22

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