Researcher of the month

Dr Hans Lofgren

 Hans Lofgren

Dr Hans Lofgren

During ten years at Deakin I have taught many Politics units and carried administrative responsibilities including my present role as Associate Head of School (Research). I pursue research focused on the political economy of health and pharmaceuticals with publications ranging from detailed studies of regulatory arrangements to analyses of the global bio-economy. I work collaboratively with colleagues in India, Sweden, the UK and other countries. For example, I recently co-authored with Mats Benner (University of Lund) 'A global knowledge economy?: biopolitical strategies in India and the European Union', Journal of Sociology 47(2), 2011.

Initially I focused on pharmaceuticals in Australia but I have increasingly taken an interest in medicines policy in India and the developing world. India is the world's major supplier of affordable medicines. Extended drug patents, mandated by the World Trade Organization, have diminished the capacity of Indian firms to supply affordable new HIV/AIDS and other drugs. Medicines policy is a field is of enormous social, economic and political significance and there is a role for researchers in the global struggle for equitable health and access to medicines.

I supervise HDR students working on global health and alternatives to the drug patent system. I also supervise the Faculty's only participant in the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI) which aims to build research partnerships with some of India's leading companies, research institutes and universities. This PhD student, based at the University of Hyderabad, investigates the Special Economic Zones in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Through many visits to India I have established collaborations with colleagues in Hyderabad and elsewhere. As a recipient of an Endeavour Executive Award I spent several months at the University of Hyderabad in 2009 and a colleague from this prestigious university last year made a return visit to the School of International and Political Studies, also supported by an Endeavour Award. (I also teach AIP203 Incredible India: State and Society.)

In September 2010, I organised an international conference at the University of Hyderabad - 'Pharmaceuticals in Developing and Emerging Economies: Production, Innovation, and Access to Medicines in the wake of TRIPS'. Outcomes include an edited book titled The pharmaceutical industry and access to medicines: which way ahead for India? (Social Science Press, New Delhi, 2012). A second volume, co-edited with Owain Williams, will appear as The New Political Economy of Pharmaceuticals in the Global South (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

book cover Pharmaceutical policy forms part of the broader health policy domain populated by many stakeholders including 'consumers'. I recently co-edited with Evelyne de Leeuw and Michael Leahy Democratizing Health: Consumer Groups in the Policy Process (Edward Elgar, 2011). This is the first internationally comparative study in this field and we worked with colleagues from the UK, the US, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, India, and Malaysia. We are now seeking to develop 'Democratising health' as a research theme in the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation.

 

photo of Vice Chancellor and Hans Lofgren at conference in India

Dr Hans Lofgren meeting University of Hyderabad Vice-Chancellor September 2010.

group photo at book launch

Democratizing Health: Consumer Groups in the Policy Process launched by Victorian Shadow Minister of Health Gavin Jennings 18 July 2011.
From left to right: Evelyne de Leeuw, Gavin Jennings, Hans Lofgren, Michael Leahy.

 

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