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Garcia Victor Manuel

PhD student in History, EHESS

Postgraduate program: Health, Population and Social Policies, EHESS

Research grant from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research

Contact: victor.garcia(at)ehess.fr

Dissertation title: Building and regulating the drug industry and market in Colombia (1914-2010): Contribution to a history of the globalization of drugs

Under the supervision of Maurice Cassier and Jean-Paul Gaudillière

In December 2009, the Colombian government declared a social emergency situation to face the serious crisis that the health system was undergoing. The state’s intervention to pick up the cost of treatments was not enough to ensure the population’s accessibility to drugs. This situation might seem paradoxical when referring to the early 1920s, when private and public initiatives allowed the emergence of a local industry of health products to supply the Colombian market. In the age of deregulation and of the crisis in financing drugs in Colombia, it is important to draw up the history of the emergence of health industries and their regulation starting from the beginning of the twentieth century with a focus on public policies, the actions of practitioners and pharmacists, the trajectory of national private and public laboratories, and the expansion of international laboratories starting in the 1940s. Starting from an analysis of the documentary sources held in the Colombian national archives and of documentation on the trajectories of local and foreign firms, this PhD research aims to build the history of the emergence and development of a local industry of health products by analyzing the methods for circulating industrial knowledge, the training of experts, and the various modalities for the establishment of pharmaceutical companies. Then I will develop the most completely possible historical framework of the construction process of a regulated drug market in Colombia accounting for the roles of the various actors (doctors, pharmacists, the state, and industry). Lastly, the investigation will study the relationship between drugs and public health, in particular the issues at stake in access to drugs and its incorporation into health insurance from 1950 to the present.