Industry Associations and the Changing Politics of Making Medicines in South Africa
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The making and delivery of new medicines is not only a process of science and technology, of production and marketing, but also a process that is inherently political. As such, the relational and political interactions between industry and government are key to shaping regulatory environments that either promote or constrain an industry’s ability to collectively learn, innovate and grow (Malerba, 2002). Often critical to the governing of these relations over time are intermediary actors such as industry associations and various advocacy groups that through processes of conflict, negotiation and collaboration promote knowledge exchange and institutional capacity building. In developing and emerging countries, such intermediaries are likely to play a particularly prominent role in filling institutional knowledge gaps towards shaping regulation and subsequent industry development (Kshetri and Dholakia, 2009). Moreover, these interactions between industry and government can be particularly complex and often contentious when government views an industry as potentially contributing to the public good, as in the case of the pharmaceutical industry and its role in the provision of health care. In such cases, it can be suggested that the strategies employed by industry associations over time will need to address the needs of the government and the civil society it negotiates with in order to effectively advance the interests of the industry it represents.
KeywordsIndustry Association National Health Insurance Scheme Regulatory Uncertainty African National Congress South African Government
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