India's pharmaceuticals, local production and public health security in sub-Saharan Africa: a comparative study

Project Details


Funded by an Economic and Social Research Council Future Research Leader award, this 3 year project involves a comparative study of India's pharmaceuticals and local production across a number of countries and regions in sub-Saharan Africa. India is known by groups such as Médicines Sans Frontières as the “pharmacy of the developing world” for its relatively low-cost supply of medicines across the global South. Yet, relatively little research has explored the South-South value chains that underlie India's pharmaceutical industry, the social and political relationships involved or the industrial and public health impacts. This is a particularly significant question in sub-Saharan Africa, where a concerted policy momentum has emerged from the African Union, various regional groups (particularly the East African Community), nation states and international organisations (e.g. UNIDO) to support local pharmaceutical production on the continent over the last decade.

This study will thus seek to explore:
1. The role of Indian firms in governing South-South value chains, i.e. influencing rules, standards and expectations for participation, and thus shaping development outcomes in pharmaceuticals;
2. Upgrading possibilities for African firms from participating in these South-South value chains, including expanding local manufacturing;
3. State policies (e.g. industrial policies, public procurement) shaping the dynamics of Indian imports and local production.
Short titleR:HDD HDZ/R Horner/20.01.15
Effective start/end date1/09/1631/08/19

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Global Development Institute


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