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Biotechnol Adv. 2012 Nov-Dec;30(6):1589-601. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2012.05.002. Epub 2012 May 19.

Development of health biotechnology in developing countries: can private-sector players be the prime movers?

Author information

1
United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. gulifeiya@unu.edu

Abstract

Health biotechnology has rapidly become vital in helping healthcare systems meet the needs of the poor in developing countries. This key industry also generates revenue and creates employment opportunities in these countries. To successfully develop biotechnology industries in developing nations, it is critical to understand and improve the system of health innovation, as well as the role of each innovative sector and the linkages between the sectors. Countries' science and technology capacities can be strengthened only if there are non-linear linkages and strong interrelations among players throughout the innovation process; these relationships generate and transfer knowledge related to commercialization of the innovative health products. The private sector is one of the main actors in healthcare innovation, contributing significantly to the development of health biotechnology via knowledge, expertise, resources and relationships to translate basic research and development into new commercial products and innovative processes. The role of the private sector has been increasingly recognized and emphasized by governments, agencies and international organizations. Many partnerships between the public and private sector have been established to leverage the potential of the private sector to produce more affordable healthcare products. Several developing countries that have been actively involved in health biotechnology are becoming the main players in this industry. The aim of this paper is to discuss the role of the private sector in health biotechnology development and to study its impact on health and economic growth through case studies in South Korea, India and Brazil. The paper also discussed the approaches by which the private sector can improve the health and economic status of the poor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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