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Mahamé Stéphanie

Doctoral student in sociology, EHESS/ Université  of Abomey-Calavi (UAC)

Doctoral training programme: "Health, Populations and Social Policies" (SPPS)

Funded by the IRD (Research funding for a thesis in Southern countries)

Contact: stephanie.mahame(at) |stephaniemahame(at)


Dissertation title: “Pharmaceutical representatives in Benin. Profession and market”

Under the direction of Maurice Cassier (Cermes3), in co-direction with Adolphe Kpatchavi (UAC and Carine Baxerres (IRD, Merit)

Following a masters in sociology on public sector health services at the local level, she completed a DEA at the University of Abomey-Calavi from 2014-2016, in the context of the Globalmed research programme. Her DEA thesis was entitled “The formal distribution of drugs in Benin: the organisation of a local offer in a global context”.

Her dissertation topic follows up on this work and aims to explore the organisation of drug distribution through research focusing on the representatives of pharmaceutical companies and the distribution agencies that work for them in Benin. Her field work is located in Benin and the Ivory Coast, and possibly in France where she would like to interview companies active in the production and distribution of drugs in Africa.

Dissertation abstract

The pharmaceutical drug industry in Africa raises questions concerning pharmaceutical policies, distribution networks, and strategies related to the establishment of companies. While the first two subjects have been studied in the social sciences, the pharmaceutical industry and its activities on the continent have been very little studied. According to some authors, this industry would willingly maintain a veil over its sales services, an essential part of which is ensured by pharmaceutical representatives, who are involved in promotion but also in pharmaceutical distribution. In the context of globalisation, it is important today to carry out an anthropological study on the activities actually performed by this profession and on their consequences for the social construction of drug markets in Africa. This study is being carried out in Benin, but with an overview of the situation in the Ivory Coast.

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