Innovating from the South: Production, Invention and Appropriation of Pharmaceutical Knowledge in Brazil and India

5-8 March 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



workshop-rioThis workshop will explore models of pharmaceutical innovation and production situated in Brazil and India, which appear to be either original or heterodox in various respects – scientific, medical, economic, political – compared to the standard proprietary innovation model generally applied by the pharmaceutical industry. The meeting is intended to describe and analyze the dynamics of the production of knowledge and products that we are studying in India, around the reformulation and industrialization of plant preparations by Indian firms, and in Brazil, around the copying of patented chemical molecules by local public- and private-sector pharmaceutical firms in the context of public health programmes.

The workshop will examine the way in which local producers and inventors mobilize heterogeneous knowledge bases, including traditional pharmacopoeia; bio-prospection of indigenous knowledge and substances; international patent bases and scientific publications; reverse engineering ; to develop similar or innovative products, derived or hybrid molecules; new standardized formulations of traditional remedies, combinations of molecules or of new mixtures of substances, etc. In India hybrid models can for instance combine the mining of traditional medical (for instance Ayurvedic) texts, the negotiation of bio-prospection contracts, and the use of patent law to protect new formulations. In Brazil, situations can combine the duplication of patented molecules, the re-invention of chemical knowledge, the production of inventions derived from copying for public health priorities, the patenting of new pharmaceutical formulations or molecules either by private or public laboratories.

Univ RioThe workshop will be attentive to the forms of collective invention that support the application and production of this knowledge and that involve various organizations, including public- and private-sector pharmaceutical laboratories, biotechnology firms, institutions responsible for the protection and management of traditional knowledge, university laboratories, foundations and public/private consortiums interested in developing therapeutic innovations against so-called neglected diseases, traditional practitioners and clinicians, etc. The production, circulation and uses of new pharmaceutical knowledge raise essential if not unusual questions concerning intellectual property. Developments in Brazil and India are especially worth investigating since they explore new forms of public and citizen-based regulation of intellectual property, collective or public rights on traditional knowledge, and original systems of protection, pooling and circulation of therapeutic knowledge and products.

The workshop's aim is to map the variety of innovation practices in Brazil or India and contributions on any aspect of the production, invention and appropriation of pharmaceutical knowledge in these countries are welcomed.


Participants and talks

Session1 – Introduction
  • The reformulation regime in traditional Indian medicines
    Laurent Pordié
  • Issues relative to appropriation of pharmaceutical knowledge in the reformulation model
    Jean-Paul Gaudillière
  • Copy, innovation and justice in access to treatments in Brazil
    Maurice Cassier
  • Public and citizen regulation of Intellectual property in the field of medicine in Brazil
    Marilena Correa


Session 2 – Ways of manufacturing traditional medicines in India
  • The Kottakal Arya Vaida Sala and the emergence of the manufacturing industry in Ayurveda: The South Indian experience
    Burton Cleetus
  • Continuity, variability and transformation in sowa rigpa pharmacy
    Calum Blaikie
  • When Big Pharma Turns Green. Drug Discovery, Global Markets and The Himalaya Drug Company
    Laurent Pordié
  • Innovations in Traditional Knowledge: Property Rights and Wellbeing among Kani and Way forward
    Harilal Madhavan
  • Plants, the practices of reformulation and the construction of Ayurvedic markets:A second look at the trajectory of Jeevani
    Jean-Paul Gaudillière


Session 3 – Copy, collective invention and Generics in Brazil

  • Nationalizing Efavirenz: compulsory licence, collective invention and neo-developmentalism in Brazil
    Maurice Cassier and Marilena Correa
  • Developing Brazilian generic tenofovir in the age of intellectual property
    Juliana Veras
  • Pharmaceutical innovation and public interest: the case of ASMQ
    Koichi Kameda
  • Patents and Public Health: the development and production of Tenofovir Brazilian
    Wanise Barroso


Session 4 – Hybridizations of knowledge
  • Inconspicuous Turmeric. Disguised saliencies in the hybrid models of pharmaceuticals
    Francis Zimmermann
  • Making 'sense' inside the lab: Ayurvedic experiments with sensory analyses of rasa
    Ritika Ganguly
  • Creolisation of the Clinic? The Nosopolitics of Ayurvedic Prescriptive Practices
    Harish Naraindas


Session 5 – Circulation and globalization of traditional medicines
  • The circulation of Indian pharmacopoeia in the 18th and 19th centuries: from interpersonnel transmission to large-scale transfer in botanic gardens
    Kapil Raj
  • Health of People, Traditional Medicine and the WHO: Trends and Issues in WHO Policies over the last fifty years
    Madulika Banerjee


Session 6 – Public and citizen regulation of drug patents in Brazil
  • When the Brazilian National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance examines the patentability of drugs : the prior consent mechanism
    Eduardo Guimarães
  • Polymorphs and pharmaceuticals patents : patent examination guidelines in Brazil
    Jacqueline Soares
  • Appropriating patented knowledge for public health:The process that led to compulsory licensing in Brazil
    Stephanie Rosenberg
  • Therapeutic activism and intellectual property rights
    Pedro Vilela


Session 7 – Regulation of generics in Brazil
  • Generic Drugs in Brazil: Implementation, Evolution and Perspectives
    Maria Andréa Loyola and Vinicius Casciano
  • Bioequivalence studies and certification of generics in Brazil
    Marilena Correa and Maurice Cassier

Download the programme and abstracts



Maurice Cassier (CNRS, Cermes3, Paris), Marilena Correa (University of Rio de Janeiro), Jean-Paul Gaudillière (Inserm, Cermes3, Paris) and Laurent Pordié (CNRS, Cermes3, Paris)


Funding bodies

Funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR)




Instituto de Medicina Social da UERJ (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro), Rua São Francisco Xavier , 7th Floor, bloco D, Rio de Janeiro.