This project was funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant (£10,000 awarded, with £9473.86 spent).
Over the last decade, industry representatives, activists and scholars have referred to India as the “pharmacy of the developing world” to highlight its key role in supplying large volumes of generic medicines around the world. Yet while extensive research has explored the political economy of the pharmaceutical
industry within India, relatively little is known about the social, economic and
political relationships involved in how these India-manufactured medicines reach
markets, and their local impact, elsewhere in the global South. This research
project has investigated these relationships and development consequences, drawing on primary research in South Africa. A significant degree of interconnection was found between Indian and South African pharmaceutical companies, as well as considerably variegated local impacts between different
stakeholders – notably local industrial and health interests. Moreover, key differences in the pharmaceuticals institutional environment between India and
South Africa were highlighted. Through this India pharmaceuticals in South Africa
case, the project sought to highlight some of the challenges involved in generic medicine supply and to move beyond some of the hype, both overly optimistic and pessimistic, which currently surrounds “South-South” trade.