Author Archives: Lucas Nishida

I am a PhD student in the Department of Science and Technology Policy at the University of Campinas, Brazil. As an interdisciplinary scientist, I hold degrees in biological, health, and social sciences. Currently, my research focuses on public participation in health technology assessment for drugs treating rare diseases. My interests span the anthropology of science and health, public participation and engagement, perspectives from the Global South, biotechnologies and their markets and materialities. I have experience in science communication and public engagement across various health research topics, including tropical neglected diseases, rare diseases, disabilities, and public health.
An image of Trikafta's packaging against a wooden background

High Costs, Entangled Politics: What All Comes Inside a Medication’s Packaging

On October 17th, 2023, two news articles about the Brazilian federal budget circulated on social media. One announced the freezing of R$116 million (US$23.3 million) from the budget of CAPES, the national agency responsible for fostering the training of scientists in Brazil. The other reported that a mere three drugs for rare diseases had accounted for an amount of R$575 million (US$115.6 million) in annual federal spending. These two budgets belong to different departments, and the spending in one does not have a direct connection to the cuts in the other. Furthermore, neither the cuts in science nor the expenses of high-cost drugs are a novelty, but rather issues that frequently appear in the news. However, the coincidence of these news stories circulating on the same day allows us to use them as anecdotes to consider the relationships between the state, science, technology, the pharmaceutical industry, economic dependency, and global circulation. (read more...)