The Case for Policy Space: Bangladesh's Pharmaceutical Sector and Access to Medicines

  • Starts7:00 am on Thursday, September 23, 2021
  • Ends8:30 am on Thursday, September 23, 2021

Over the past four decades, Bangladesh has built up its domestic productive capacity in the pharmaceutical sector and in the process, generated manufacturing capacity and employment to provide access to medicines both domestically and internationally.

What role did government play in fostering Bangladesh’s burgeoning pharmaceuticals sector? And to what extent would such policies have been permissible under the rules stipulated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other recent trade and investment treaties? Given its recognized status as a least developed country (LDC), Bangladesh has not had to adhere to such rules, but as the country prepares to graduate from LDC status, how will these stipulations affect the country’s nascent pharmaceutical sector, the future growth of that sector and crucially, the country’s access to affordable medicines?

New research from the Boston University Global Development Policy Center analyzes the role of policy space for building production capabilities in the pharmaceuticals sector in low- and middle-income countries, citing evidence from Bangladesh. Additionally, a recent report from the South Centre assesses the implications for Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical products after graduating from LDC status.

On Thursday, September 23, join the Boston University Global Development Policy Center and the South Centre for a webinar discussion and research launch, featuring researchers and experts in trade, development and public health.


Ambassador Mustafizur Rahman, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva

•Mustafizur Rahman: Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh

Nirmalya Syam: Senior Programme Officer, Health, Intellectual Property and Biodiversity Programme, South Centre

Rachel Thrasher: Researcher, Boston University Global Development Policy Center

Veronika Wirtz: Professor of Global Health, Boston University School of Public Health; Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Pharmaceutical Policy; Core Faculty Member, Global Economic Governance Initiative, Boston University Global Development Policy Center

Moderator - Prof. Carlos M. Correa: Executive Director, South Centre

Moderator - Kevin P. Gallagher: Director, Boston University Global Development Policy Center; Professor of Global Development Policy, Boston University

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