Let’s Talk Public Health | Putting Public’ at the Centre of Health’

Inviting participants to learn from practitioners through meaningful conversations on public health issues intersecting community, health systems, and policy. 


Let’s Talk Public Health ­is a conversation initiated by Azim Premji University, to learn from meaningful contributions to the community’s health and well-being through cutting-edge practice, and to deliberate on contemporary public health issues that intersect community, health systems, and policy.

Making medicines available and accessible: LOCOST experiment, success, and lessons

Alma Ata Declaration 1978 underscored the significance of drugs and medicines by integrating appropriate technology and essential medicines as part of the key components of primary health care. 

However, access to medicines has continued to remain elusive to communities the world over with the challenges of intellectual property régime, the pharmaceuticalisation of medicines, intertwined with the politics of profit over people. Several policy efforts at different levels of policy-making and innovative pathways in alternative strategies do mark the efforts of people’s struggle to make medicines accessible and affordable.

LOCOST (Low Cost Standard Therapeutics) is an experiment, located in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, that has successfully produced and supplied generic and low-cost medicines to several civil society-led primary and secondary healthcare institutions in India over the last three decades. 

In the Let’s Talk Public Health conversation, the founder of S. Srinivasan (Chinu) will unwind the story of LOCOST, its origins, history, and evolution. The speaker will also share the compelling policy circumstances that led him and his fellow activists to intervene in the courts and pharmaceutical policy exchanges both with the civil society alliances and the government. The discussion will focus on the rich insights of this experiment, its challenges, and success factors.

About the speakers

S Srinivasan has been involved with issues of affordability, availability, and accessibility of health care for over 40 years. He has written books and articles and spoken in various fora on the politics and public health aspects of pharmaceuticals including pricing policy regulatory and IP issues. He is the founder of and is now associated with LOCOST Vadodara which makes medicines at low prices and is involved in advocacy of related issues of access to medicine. 

Srinivasan is also associated with medico friend circle (mfc), All-India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), Society for Health Alternatives (SAHAJ), and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). He has also been involved in several PILs on pharma policy issues in the Supreme Court and High Courts. 

He is an alumni member of IIT Kharagpur, IIM Bangalore and Johns Hopkins University.

He has also worked with colleagues with poor communities in Vadodara to sensitise them to their entitlements as well as in learner-centered science education for Grade V to VII students. 

T Srikrishna is CEO and Trustee of LOCOST. He graduated in Pharmacy from BITS Pilani and studied Management at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA). He has hands-on experience in production, quality, and regulatory issues for over 35 years.