Innogen · Research · Current projects
Innovation in Pharma and Equity in Health

Maureen Mackintosh   Luigi Orsenigo

Affiliated staff:   Rebecca Hanlin   Roberto Simonetti   Mariana Mazzucato   Peter Robbins

Funding: DIME & ESRC Innogen Centre

Started: January 1 2002


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.

Aims and objectives

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)?

Research methods

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

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).

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).

Research methods are both quantitative and interview/fieldwork based.