The potential synergies between industrial and health policies for access to medicines: insights from the Brazilian policy of universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment

E. Urias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Web of Science)


The purpose of this study is to illustrate how industrial policy can support health policy through the construction of technological and innovation capabilities. This paper provides insights on this topic by examining the Brazilian ability to make patented antiretroviral (ARV) drugs universally accessible to people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. The Brazilian case study demonstrates the crucial role of industrial policy in making the use of compulsory licensing in price negotiations with pharmaceutical multinational corporations to improve the access to patented ARV drugs. The evidence presented in this paper supports that it is indeed possible to achieve synergies between industrial and health policy in order to improve the access to medicines and promote accumulation of technological capabilities in pharmaceuticals. Several policy instruments and initiatives, both horizontal and vertical, were implemented to support the industrial dimension of the successful Brazilian health strategy. These initiatives include direct support to capacity building, public procurement, and institutional changes. Furthermore, industrial policy initiatives can contribute to success of health programmes either immediately or with a time lag. Finally, the lessons learned from the Brazilian experience are re-specified and its relevance to other less developed countries, particularly those deprived of industrial capabilities, is discussed. © 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-260
Number of pages16
JournalInnovation and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

JEL classifications

  • o25 - Industrial Policy
  • i18 - "Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health"


  • Brazil
  • compulsory licensing
  • health policy
  • industrial policy
  • technological capabilities

Cite this