In Australia, regulation of the pharmaceutical sector is falling in thrall of the idea of innovation - an idea holding the promise of both technological advance and economic growth. Australian pharmaceutical policy, historically concerned with securing public access to quality drugs while containing costs, is gradually but perceptibly shifting emphasis towards promoting private sector profitability and expansion. Innovation, conceived and presented as a rational and necessary predicate for improving the nation’s health and international competitiveness, is central to this change in policy direction. This paper interprets changes to Australian pharmaceutical policy from the view that ideas as well as interests shape public policy. We argue that a sequence of material changes in regulation shows the rise in prominence of the idea of innovation – an idea resonant with contemporary economic wisdom and general public sympathy towards new technologies.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Journal of Australian Political Economy|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2008|