“Molecular Markets: The BioLogics of Cancer in the Global South”
Indian corporations have manufactured low-cost drugs for the global poor for over three decades. Indeed, activist mobilizations at the height of the HIV-AIDS epidemic revealed a vast cost gap between global brands and Indian generics, much to the embarrassment of Euro-American pharma. In this talk, I argue that 21st century drug access controversies focus on a new kind and class of ‘living’ anti-cancer drugs - biologics. As cancer appears in the public health imagination as a crisis, it demands a new battle for the right to drugs. The fight over anticancer biologics reveal new flows of international capital and new intersections of genes and trade regimes. Yet, controversies around biologics imperil the legacy of HIV-AIDS activism, and the future of life-saving drugs. In sum, I describe how the future of the rights of cancer patients across the world rests calamitously in a shifting balance of power between global south interests and Euro-American capital.