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The politics of the health industry complex in times of change

Abstract

This research will continue the study of the health industry complex (CIS), an array of instruments to align health policy with industrial policy. We began this research a decade ago, and we now aim to expand it to the case of COVID-19. The pandemic has shifted the incentives of biomedical innovation, promoted collaboration among drug regulatory agencies in ways never seen before, and reshaped the debate around access to medicine and vaccines. Notwithstanding many controversial aspects of Brazil's reaction to COVID-19, the country is exploring these novel opportunities to procure, regulate, and produce vaccines as it has for other infectious diseases. These responses-currently in the case of COVID-19 and in past with the cases of HIV and hepatitis C-have important implications for pandemic preparedness and conceptualization of health industry policies. Our research program, which will be grounded in qualitative and epidemiological analyses, is structured around three axes: (1) Politics and governance of technology transfer for pharmaceuticals, (2) Regulatory capacity building, (3) Policy and politics to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines and hepatitis C drugs. Our team has strong international and national collaboration ties, including the LSE, the University of Michigan, and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Latin America's largest biomedical research institute. Together, we will produce publications to high-impact journals, train undergraduate and graduate students in different dimensions of health industry policy, and produce evidence that can shape health policy and pathways to respond to future public health crises. (AU)

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