Health Biotechnology Innovation in Developing Countries

messengerrushBiotechnology

Feb 22, 2013 (4 years and 6 months ago)

104 views

Role of the Health System in
Health Biotechnology Innovation
in Developing Countries

Halla Thorsteinsdóttir

University of Toronto


IKD Research Workshop
,

Bridging the gulf between policies for innovation, productivity &
industrial growth & policies to reduce poverty


London 18
-
20 November 2005



Main questions

1.
Are the health biotechnology sectors in
developing countries aimed at local health
needs?


2.
If they are, are the roles of the health
systems likely to be confined to being users
of the local innovation or are they active
contributors to the innovation as well?

Common belief



Developing countries’ researchers and firms do not
focus on their local health problems but are rather
focused on the health problems of people in
industrially advanced countries.



It carries more prestige to study health topics that the

leading scientists in the world are researching


There are better chances for the research to be

accepted

for publication in the most influential journals.


For firms in developing countries it is most lucrative to focus

on health problems in industrially advanced countries,

where the largest profit margins lie.


Health Biotechnology Innovation in
Developing Countries

How have developing
countries that have
developed successes in
health biotechnology been
able to do it?

Countries
:

Brazil,
China, Cuba, Egypt,
India, South Africa,
and S
outh
Korea

PROJECT TEAM

CANADA

Abdallah Daar

Uyen Quach

Peter Singer

Halla Thorsteinsd
óttir

CUBA

Tirso Saénz

BRAZIL

Marcela Ferrer

EGYPT

Basma Abdelgafar

SOUTH AFRICA

Marion Motari

CHINA

Li Zhenzhen

Zhang Jiuchun

Wen Ke

INDIA

Nandini Kumar

Hemlatha Somsekar

SOUTH KOREA

Joseph Wong


Semi
-
structured interviews with key informants
-

private
sector enterprises, governmental departments, public
and private research institutes, educational institutions,
regulatory agencies, relevant associations, major interest
groups, relevant NGOs etc.


Interviewed 207 experts from developing countries



Background documents
-

relevant published information,
governmental reports , policy briefs, legal and regulatory
arrangements, official statistics



Data on publication and patents
in health biotechnology


Case Studies


Specialisation
indices




Express the intensity of research in a
specific field that a country publishes in,
relative to the intensity of publications in
that field by the rest of the world.




Indices of larger than 1 means a country is
relatively specialised in a field/subfield

Specialisation indices in subfields of
health biotechnology

Country

Brazil

China

Cuba

Egypt

India

South

Korea

South

Africa

Biochemical & Molecular Biology

1.02

1.12

Biomedical Engineering

1.5

1.8

3.75

2.1

3.2

2.26

3.92

Genetics & Heredity

1.02

General Biomedical Research

3.3

2.11

1.3

Immunology

2.05

Microbiology

1.67

2.51

1.39

2.03

2.44

Miscellaneous Biomedical Research

1

2.27

Nutrition & Dietition

1.69

Parasitology

6.69

1.49

Virology

1.03

2.13

Dentistry

2.85

Dermatology & Venereal Diseases

1.53

1.37

Fertility

1.27

General & Internal Medicine

2.9

4.5

1.99

1.25

1.54

Ophthalmology

1.95

Pharmacology

1.9

Tropical Medicine

11.68

2.2

31.12

2.3

Veterinary Medicine

1.76

3.3

2.44

Communicable Diseases - 2002
0
10000
20000
30000
40000
50000
60000
70000
Africa
Americas
SE-Asia
Europe
E-Mediter
W-Pacific
DALY (000)
HIV/AIDS
Diarrhoeal diseases
Malaria
Childhood diseases
Tuberculosis
Source: WHO 2004

DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life years) due to

Communicable Diseases

Estimated proportion of total deaths by cause
in India (all ages, 2005).


Source: Reddy et al, 2005

Interviews on health biotechnology
innovation in developing countries


How do you see the role of health
biotechnology in your country in the context
of health delivery and public health?


CUBA

Purified
Meningococci
Meningitis B and C
Vaccine

Produced by

Main driving force for the
health biotechnology
sector was solving local
problems

Cuban health biotechnology


Cuban procurement policies favour local
health products to imported ones.


Tight linkages, with clinicians in Cuba heavily
involved in the innovation process, and are
active in the biotechnology cluster,
West
Havana Scientific Pole.


A researcher in a public research institute
said, for example:
We have feedback from
the clinical trials to the lab. This is not a linear
process. The cycle is a good ground for
innovative thinking. It has definitely improved
our products.


INDIA

Shanvac
-
B

Recombinant hepatitis B vaccine surface antigen


Produced by

India

has

a

great

market
.

I

mean

we

have

so

many

diseases
.

So

there

is

no,

I

think,

there

is

no

better

place

,

no

better

market

for

you,

we

have

a

billion

people

here

and

everybody

needs

three

things

in

life,

I

think
.

You

need

‘roti’,

‘kapda’

and

‘makaan’

[food,

clothing,

shelter]

so

and

you

need

‘davai

[medicine]’
.

So,

you

have,

I

mean,

that

is

definitely

there

is

a

market
.

In

a

country,

if

you

have

more

people,

you

have

more

health

problems


Governmental support to biotechnology since early 1980s
but not instrumental policies towards solving particular
health problems

Indian health biotechnology


To go global was a theme in the interviews


Extensive exporting through supplying
vaccines to UN agencies, e.g. UNICEF and
WHO


Health sector is important for clinical trials but
not much emphasis on close linkages and
knowledge flow between
researchers/entrepreneurs in health
biotechnology and health system

BRAZIL


Active in scientific publishing in health biotechnology


Concerns that Brazilians were relatively weak in
developing health biotechnology products & services



Biobrás

and
Federal University of Minas Gerais

developed
recombinant human insulin

We have certain competitive advantages. What are these
competitive advantages? Our needs. For example, the
problem of public health. Now, besides the need, we have
capacity. We have a way to generate our industry. We also
have specific health problems that carry us to develop
certain things. Another advantage we have is that it is
cheaper making some things in Brazil than making them
outside of the country. We have human resources


Brazilian health biotechnology


Lack of linkages and knowledge flow have
been between the major actors in health
biotechnology innovation system



Procurement policies have been detrimental
to local innovation

Main answers

1.
Are the health biotechnology sectors in developing countries
aimed at local health needs?

Yes



Both quantitative and qualitative data has
supported that health biotechnology sectors in the
countries discussed
have attempted to meet local
health needs


2.
Are the roles of the health systems likely to be confined to
being users of the local innovation or are they active
contributors to the innovation as well?
Yes and No


In most of the countries the linkages between
researchers and entrepreneurs in health
biotechnology and the health systems could be
closer

Additional statistics in demand


How many of the health biotechnology
products reach local markets versus
exporting markets?


What are the earnings the producers have in
the different markets?


To which countries do developing countries
export their health biotechnology products?


What proportion of their exports are through
purchasing by UN agencies?


What are the health effects of the health
biotechnology products?

Funding support




Funding partners
for the Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health

listed at www.geneticsethics.net

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine

The Rockefeller Foundation