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Global Conference on Advancing
Social Pharmaceutical Innovation

9-10 March 2023, Utrecht and online

The first-ever Global Conference on Advancing Social Pharmaceutical Innovation (SPIN) will take place on 9 and 10 March 2023 both in Utrecht, the Netherlands and online (all participation free of charge).

The goal of the conference is to gather as many different stakeholders as we can to formulate concrete and robust recommendations for policy and practice on how to advance durable forms of SPIN.

Such recommendations are necessary because of the following reason. Many countries express similar concerns about the availability, accessibility, and affordability of drugs for rare diseases (though some problems vary across the world). This similarity in experienced problems, to us, suggests systemic issues. SPIN initiatives implicitly or explicitly aim to address these concerns.

SPIN initiatives are, however, often disconnected and frequently short-lived, raising the question of how SPIN initiatives can be made durable. Formulating recommendations to that end can only be done with input from all sides of the field, which is where this conference comes in.

The SPIN team will host this conference. We are a group of researchers from Brazil, Canada, France, and the Netherlands, working in various social science disciplines: science, technology and innovation studies, health economics, and legal studies in health.

Over the nearly three years our consortium has run, we studied fifteen specific SPIN initiatives in our countries of residence. SPINs challenge the dominant model of pharmaceutical innovation, notably (though not exclusively) in the rare disease field. The initiatives we studied include alternative modes of research, development, and manufacturing and novel regulatory schemes along the drug development life cycle. Our research team has also engaged in broader discussions on drugs for rare diseases.

Read more about SPINs by reading our research paper here

During the conference, we seek to share our cross-country research findings, listen to stakeholders’ concerns, and facilitate dialogue to support collective learning on these matters. Specifically, we aim to formulate concrete recommendations for policy and practice on advancing durable forms of SPIN.

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