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
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.