The second CIGI Graduate Fellows policy brief examines Brazil's success in ensuring access to essential pharmaceuticals for its citizens, and how this success can be leveraged for other developing countries in similar circumstances.

Five unique factors underlie this success, including, among others, a sustained government commitment to public health systems and an indigenous capacity to produce pharmaceuticals domestically, the emergence of a civil society coalition built around the norm of health equity, and the international harmonization of quality assurance and clinical standards related to pharmaceutical research and development.

While it is unlikely that other developing countries lacking indigenous manufacturing capacity can achieve similar results in the near to medium-term future, it is instead recommended that private foundations and large bilateral aid country providers invest in a global funding mechanism. This fund would use pre-existing, innovative financing mechanisms to scale up production in the handful of developing countries that have achieved near self-sufficiency in pharmaceutical production, for the benefit of populations beyond their borders.

Part of Series

The CIGI Graduate Fellows program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs provides students with mentorship opportunities from senior scholars and policy makers. The program consists of research assistantships, policy brief writing workshops, interactive learning sessions with senior experts from CIGI and publication opportunities. Working under the direction of a project leader, graduate fellows conduct research in one of CIGI’s program areas. This series presents those policy briefs that have met CIGI’s publications standards.
  • Erika Malich is a candidate for the Master of Arts in Global Governance at the University of Waterloo, and a CIGI Graduate Fellow at the BSIA.

  • Sarah Marion is a candidate for the Master of International Public Policy at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a CIGI Graduate Fellow at the BSIA.