What's at stake in the fake?

Indian pharmaceuticals, African markets and global health


Shalini Rudra | People at Fake Drugs Project

Shalini Rudra

PhD Student (History)
University of Warwick

Shalini Rudra is currently undertaking a PhD in History at the University of Warwick. She has trained in applied economics, demography and public health and is interested in the use of public policy frameworks to improve population health. Her training helps her apply an interdisciplinary perspective to understand and analyse developmental concerns, mainly as they have emerged in India over the past few decades.

She has a keen interest in understanding the political economy of global health and its influence on resource allocation and laws governing them. The global health perspective offered through the issue of access to affordable medicines is an all-encompassing health policy, one that juxtaposes trade in health goods with human rights, monopolising R&D investments with affordable technologies, and regulatory policies with international resolution ensuring health for all, difficult choices.

In the ‘What’s at stake in the fake?’ project, her interests lie mainly in understanding the role of the nations of the global south in public health issues that have wider implications. Through her research she will explore the economics and history of global public health movements. Using archival such as international policy documents, grey literature, as well as oral histories, she will chart the impacts of India’s involvement in various access to medicine campaigns.

Her work builds on the distinctive role that India played in international medicine governance over the last few decades. She investigates the evolution and repercussions of the narrative of ‘fake drugs’ throughout the broader shifts in the global pharmaceutical policies juxtaposed with the growth of global trade in generic pharmaceuticals. She approaches the subject by tracing the policy landscape concerning access to affordable medicines. Understanding the linkages between various stakeholders and their allegiances to alleviating gap in access is pivotal in this research. Further on, such research will contribute to the synthesis of evidential discourse on patient safety through the lens of quality of drugs and how the narrative of falsified/fake medicines began to percolate into policy forums and brought about reforms.

Email: Shalini.Rudra@warwick.ac.uk