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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Previous Events

Global Health SIG event: Innovation North and South: who benefits from policy R&D incentives for new health products? by Professor Janice Graham

27th March 2015, 09:30 to 11:00, Room 452 Business School Durham, Professor Janice Graham

Drug regulation can be seen as precariously balancing the science of safety, efficacy and quality with the politics of international trade and national economic growth. With the goal of incentivising innovation, governments have committed through regulatory modernisation to faster drug approvals and the reduction of administrative burden on business to increase market access. This paper examines the approval of innovative drugs at Health Canada during a process of regulatory modernisation, comparing their claims of innovation for emerging pharmaceutical and biologics with a specific case of “innovative” vaccine development in the sub Saharan Africa. In both cases, what counts for innovation may be less novelty than open sesame.


Janice Graham is a research professor in medical anthropology and infectious diseases in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. Interested in the moral basis of profit when disease becomes a market opportunity, she works among those who develop, regulate, commercialize, implement and use emerging pharmaceuticals and vaccines. Studying vaccine logics in Africa, she wonders how philanthrocapitalists and industry can claim publicly funded research as their own intellectual property, and why those innovations never end up in improved health systems.

Coffee/tea/biscuits from 9.30 in room 418

Sponsored by the Global Health Special Interest Group, WRIHW