What's at stake in the fake?

Indian pharmaceuticals, African markets and global health

Medicines, India(n), and ‘fakery’: Charting the social lives of pharma suspicions in Tanzania

Dr René Gerrets

Gerrets’ research will track and examine how modes of ‘pharma fake talk’ inform and animate actors and institutions along various points of drug supply chains, including the sense-making, suspicions and contestations this ‘idiom’ contributes to and illuminates.  A central idea inspiring this research is that ‘fake’ or ‘real’ are not necessarily discrete entities whose meanings or epistemological underpinnings are stable and uncontested, especially in settings where medical pluralism is a fact of life and pharmacological certifications of quality are merely one consideration. Hence, the historically charged figures of the ‘Indian’ and ‘India’ are of particular interest in this research, as these can become imbricated with complex legacies harkening back to the colonial end post-independence periods, but also, for instance, more recent developments such Indian companies having become the pharmacy of the world, and dominating the market for imported medicines in countries such as Tanzania.