Knowledge Development, Social Needs, and Innovation: A Difficult Path

The Chagas Disease in Latin America
By Leila Temri, Pablo Kreimer

By focusing on the case of Chagas disease, this paper tries to understand how productive and internationally recognized Latin-American fundamental research does not lead to treatments adapted to the social problem that justifies the research. The paper does this by analyzing the rationales of two categories of actors: academic research, and pharmaceutical companies. These companies, though committed to the logic of financial performance, must also integrate social and environmental criteria, thus taking into consideration their social responsibilities under pressure from civil society. Yet they do not deal with Chagas disease. Another category of actors, namely non-profit organizations, then takes over. JEL A130, L65, M14, O31, O54.


  • Chagas disease
  • corporate social responsibility
  • innovation
  • knowledge
  • social needs
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