FAKE

What’s at stake in the fake? Indian pharmaceuticals, African markets and global health

Objective

  1. Investigate the rise of fake-talk—the wide-spread and urgently-reiterated set of concerns about the dangers that fake drugs present
  2. Investigate what the effects of fake-talk are.

Description

Today, the idea that fake drugs threaten global health has become almost common-sensical. Often, these concerns are voiced in relation to how, for example, Africans’ already poor health is further imperilled by fake Indian drugs. Yet when we looked closely at the scientific literature backing up these claims, we found that they were based on unexpectedly weak evidence. This project responds to this puzzle by critically re-examining our collective common-sense about fake drugs and global health. Initial research suggests that, in addition to the world of pharmacology, worries about fake drugs may be based in social worlds. When the world’s supply of life-saving drugs is beset by worries about safety, governments and citizens face difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce resources. Our project’s historical and ethnographic enquiries seek to understand the emergence and circulation of worries about fake drugs for global health, as well as to understand these worries’ effects.


AIGHD Research Lead

Dr. Rene Gerrets


Partners

University of Warwick, UK

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


Contact info

Natacha Berbers (n.berbers@aighd.org)


Funders

Wellcome Trust


Countries

UK, India, South-Africa, and Tanzania