Social enterprise as market regulation : non-governmental interventions in essential medicines wholesaling to low income countries

MACKINTOSH, Maureen

Publication Date 

2008
28 p

"This paper explores the under-studied role of social enterprise as traders and regulatory actors in the international wholesale markets for essential medicines and their impact on accessibility, quality and prices in these perverse markets, drawing on an interview survey of European-based socially oriented wholesalers supplying the medicines market for sub-Saharan Africa. The paper argues that these enterprises play an important role in regulating price and quality and hence in improving access to medicines by the poor. However they face challenging market and political conditions. The paper analyses the motivations and organisational structures that sustain social and ethical commitment in this market, drawing on theories of social enterprise and non-profit business, and surveys the challenges and constraints. It then examines the formal international and national regulatory interventions in the international markets and their effects on social enterprise, in the context of a substantial institutional divide between the medicines-related campaigning of the large international NGOs and the activities of these market-oriented social enterprises"

Series:IKD Working Paper no. 30 

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