University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Access, Excess: Medicines, Markets, and the Liberation of the Copy

Access, Excess:
Medicines, Markets, and the Liberation of the Copy
Note: This event is cancelled

What are the implications of imagining access to medicines as a project of “democratizing” access to markets? In Mexico, pharmaceutical access has been articulated by the federal government largely as a “pro-consumer politics,” unleashing the potency of generic substitution as both a market and pharmacological principle: the same, but cheaper! But copied drugs, and the explosion of generics pharmacies that now serve as their delivery vehicles, are not only or even primarily an antidote to expensive, leading-brand drugs. In Mexico, generic pharmaceuticals, and the low-cost market infrastructure emerging around them, have become supplements to, and substitutes for, the drugs and the care provided by underfunded public health institutions. Hayden argues that, in name of the “liberation” of generic copies, many other things and practices are being doubled, trebled, and troubled—not least, the functions of the state as a provider of health care, medicines, and the regulation of their quality. Suggested background reading: A Generic Solution? Pharmaceuticals and the Politics of the Similar in Mexico, by Cori Hayden.

Cori Hayden is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the anthropology of the biochemical sciences, global pharmaceutical politics, and postcolonial engagements with intellectual property, copying, and the politics of innovation and appropriation.

Hayden also spoke in 2012 on The Abundance of the Copy: Generic Medicines and the Politics of Equivalence.

Cosponsored by the Medical Industry Leadership Institute. To request a disability-related accommodation, please contact the IAS ( 612-626-5054) at least two weeks prior to the event.

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