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Palgrave Macmillan

Making Medicines in Africa

The Political Economy of Industrializing for Local Health

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  • Open Access
  • © 2016

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  • Editors and authors with a strong African and more broadly Southern presence
  • Groundbreaking analysis of the pharmaceutical industry in Africa

Part of the book series: International Political Economy Series (IPES)

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About this book

This book is open access under a CC-BY license.
The importance of the pharmaceutical industry in Sub-Saharan Africa, its claim to policy priority, is rooted in the vast unmet health needs of the sub-continent. Making Medicines in Africa is a collective endeavour, by a group of contributors with a strong African and more broadly Southern presence, to find ways to link technological development, investment and industrial growth in pharmaceuticals to improve access to essential good quality medicines, as part of moving towards universal access to competent health care in Africa. The authors aim to shift the emphasis in international debate and initiatives towards sustained Africa-based and African-led initiatives to tackle this huge challenge. Without the technological, industrial, intellectual, organisational and research-related capabilities associated with competent pharmaceutical production, and without policies that pull the industrial sectors towards serving local health needs, the African sub-continent cannot generate the resources to tackle its populations' needs and demands. 
Research for this book has been selected as one of the 20 best examples of the impact of UK research on development. See for further details.

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Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Introduction: African Industrial Development, Values and Health Care

  2. The Pharmaceutical Industry in Africa

  3. Industrialization for Health

  4. Industrial Policies and Health Needs


"Making Medicines in Africa comes at just the right time to bring evidence into the often heated debate about local pharmaceutical production in African countries. Scientific data complemented by insider knowledge point the way to achieving better access to health and economic sustainability through local manufacturing. This book is a milestone and will surely become the first standard work on local African production. Worth reading every single page!" - Christoph Bonsmann, Action Medeor, Germany


"The production of pharmaceuticals has implications for health, industrialization, and social and economic development. This delightful book offers carefully crafted case studies of these important issues in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, presenting a way of thinking about pharmaceutical industrial development as a critical element of strategies for addressing health needs, and showing how regulatory capabilities can affect trajectories of pharmaceutical development and the extent to which industrial development is beneficial for health systems." - Ken Shadlen, London School of Economics, UK


"There is now widespread consensus that local pharmaceutical production has an important role to play in enhancing access to essential good quality medicines, contributing to the health of everyone living in Africa, and to the local economies. Multi-stakeholder cooperation is critical to this agenda, and this book explores the challenges, arguing clearly the imperative for investment in a quality, competitive, Africa-based pharmaceutical industry." - Miles Mudzviti, PharmaAfrica


"This book is an important contribution to the ongoing international debate as to whether further stimulating sustainable production of high quality pharmaceuticals in Africa has potential to advance industrial development and public health objectives alike. A compelling case is made for the value of Africa-based initiatives that seek to strengthen local capabilities for medicines manufacturing as one means of improving access to badly needed drugs." - Jürgen Reinhardt, UNIDO

Editors and Affiliations

  • The Open University, UK

    Maureen Mackintosh, Watu Wamae

  • University of Edinburgh, UK

    Geoffrey Banda

  • REPOA, Tanzania

    Paula Tibandebage

About the editors

Maureen Mackintosh is Professor of Economics at the Open University, UK. She is a development economist specialising in the analysis of markets in health care and medicines, with particular reference to African contexts.

Geoffrey Banda is a Research Fellow at the Innogen Institute within Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at The University of Edinburgh, UK. He is currently working on an ESRC-funded Regenerative Medicine project.

Paula Tibandebage is a Senior Research Associate with REPOA, a non-government policy research institute in Tanzania. She specializes in issues of social protection and social services provisioning, including health and education.

Watu Wamae is Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Economics at The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. Her research expertise is in the area of industrialisation and innovation policy, and she works closely with governments in Africa.

Bibliographic Information

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