Speculative Markets. Drug circuits and derivative life in Nigeria
Avec Kristin Peterson
In the 1970s, Nigeria’s oil boom generated unprecedented state wealth, quite in contrast to a massive U.S. economic recession. During that period, U.S. and European multinational companies turned to Nigeria to manufacture drugs and sold them on what was then a significant and important foreign market in terms of sales. By the 1990s, proprietary drug markets in Nigeria and throughout Africa were completely eviscerated and relocated elsewhere. What was once almost exclusively a brand name drug market is now home to mostly imported pharmaceuticals throughout the world, for which there are constant concerns over drug quality. The paper first discusses two simultaneous convergences that remade the West African brand name market: Nigeria’s structural adjustment program and the pharmaceutical industry’s turn to speculative capital. It then provides an overview of the kinds of markets and the kinds of drugs that emerged in the aftermath of brand name industry’s abandonment of the West African market. It concludes with a discussion on how actors within Nigerian and global drug markets interact with chronic, and indeed anticipated, market volatility in ways that produce new orders of pharmaceutical value.