Local Production of Pharmaceuticals and Related Technology Transfer in Developing Countries: A Series of Case Studies by the UNCTAD Secretariat
(2011; 320 pages)


This report forms part of the project entitled: Improving access to medicines in developing countries through technology transfer related to medical products and local production. It is implemented by the Department of Public Health Innovation and Intellectual Property of the World Health Organization (WHO/PHI) in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) with funding from the European Union (EU). The overall objective of the project is to increase access – especially for the poor in developing and least developed countries – to medicines, vaccines and diagnostics.

This series of case studies on local pharmaceutical production and related technology transfer in Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Jordan, Thailand and Uganda was undertaken by the Intellectual Property Unit in UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise, Investment Capacity- Building Branch.

The results of the case studies show that the conditions under which technology transfer results in strengthening local production, and the ways and means in which this promotes greater access to medicines, are highly complex. While helping to bring out the relevance of these parameters, these important results on local production and access to medicines lead us to push the boundaries of our understanding. Although access to medicines is being enhanced through local production, the project and its results suggest that a coherent framework that links local production to greater access from the onset within countries is urgently called for to harness the full potential of local production capacities. Improvement in access to medicines in the context of local production should not be incidental but should be an explicit goal.

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