Latest News

Professor Susi Geiger appointed to new World Health Organization Technical Advisory Group on Pricing Policies for Medicines

  • Date: Wed, Oct 25, 2023

Share this article

By Beth Kocher Gormley, Communications and PR Manager, UCD College of Business

Professor Susi Geiger has been appointed as an independent expert with the newest World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on Pricing Policies for Medicines (TAG-PPM).

The goal of the organisation is to strengthen pricing policies, transparency of markets, and affordable access to medicines no matter where one lives. According to the organisation’s website, WHO has increasingly been requested by Member States for technical input on matters relating to pricing and affordability of health products.

Professor Geiger was selected to the group as a leader in healthcare, pharmaceutical markets, market failures, patents and medicine prices. Her academic work investigates the organisation and shaping of markets, with a particular focus on how civil society contests these markets. Professor Geiger’s current research is focused on market failures and collaborative market innovation in pharmaceutical markets. 

“There are serious concerns over social justice in healthcare markets today,” said Professor Geiger. “Through privatisation of healthcare providers and the consolidation of pharmaceutical innovation into only a handful of firms, we are in many areas being taken hostage by private industry in what is essentially a public good— access to healthcare.” 

“I would like to see everyone, everywhere in the world, be able to access the medicines they need.”

As the only-ever Irish female business scholar to be awarded a highly prestigious €2 million ERC (European Research Council) Consolidator Grant, she is carrying out research on market failures in healthcare, for instance, high prices, patent abuses, lack of innovation. As part of this grant, she founded the MISFIRES Project, an initiative that refocuses the issues of market failures and market design from economic principles towards collaboration and participation.

“Pharmaceutical markets are at a breaking point; with highly targeted medications rapidly exceeding costs of €2m per patient per treatment, even the richest health system in the world can't afford these new medicines any longer,” explained Professor Geiger. “We study how patient organisations and access to medicines movements make their voices heard to challenge the system of high-priced medicines and patents that support high prices.”

She describes that prices for vital medicines have been ratcheting up precipitously, and that it is vital that we not only understand how these prices come about but also how they may be controlled.

“If we as a society agree to let medicines on the market that cost several million then this money is going to be missing elsewhere in the healthcare system. At the same time, we cannot allow patients to miss out on these medicines; so we have to start interrogating the root causes of high medicines prices.”
In her research, she studies what patient organisations and access to medicines activists do to challenge the current healthcare system.

“One of the most surprising insights has been that government officials themselves have now become what we call 'state activists', for instance the Irish government has joined two different buyer pools of peripheral European states to stand up to the power of pharma firms in negotiating medicines prices. They're called Beneluxa and Valletta,” said Professor Geiger.

“I think there is a real paradigm shift within the EU, reorienting public interest from intellectual property and innovation toward affordability of and access to medicines. Now is the time to change things: currently there are three central regulations being negotiated globally: the Pandemic Accord or Treaty, the International Health Regulations, and the European Pharmaceutical Legislation,” she concluded.

“Ideally, I would like to see public R&D to be fostered and I would like to see a carefully modulated incentive system for private industry that puts conditions on public funding received. I would also like to see the patent system changed so that patent abuses are no longer possible.”

Professor Geiger has published her research in five of the world’s top FT50 journals including Journal of Management Studies, Research Policy, Organization Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Economy & Society, Business & Society, Journal of Medical Ethics and many others. Susi has published three books, most recently "Healthcare Activism: Markets, Morals, and the Collective Good" (Oxford University Press 2021). Her research has received international recognition through research awards and Best Paper prizes such as the Emerald Highly Commended Paper Award and Business & Society Best Paper nomination.
Recent Publications

Susi Geiger and Emma Stendahl published a blog based on their recent article in Journal of Management Studies. The blog is entitled "Breaching, bridging and bonding: How radical and moderate work intertwines for patient-centric innovation" and available here.

Nicole Gross and Susi Geiger published a Public Policy paper based on a recent article in the journal Organization. The paper is entitled "Covid-19, global solidarity, and the case for equitable vaccine distribution through technology transfers" and available here.


Prof Susi Geiger was invited to present a paper entitled "The (a)temporalities of pharmaceutical markets" at the Public Health, Markets, and Law workshop at UCD's Sutherland School of Law, 29th Sept.

Prof Susi Geiger will present at the Irish Global Health X event on Oct 24th in Dublin; she will also speak at a webinar on pharmaceutical legislation and regulation on the Pandemic Treaty negotiations on Oct 23rd. 

Current and forthcoming journal publications

Geiger, Susi and Emma Stendahl (online first): Breaching, Bridging and Bonding: Interweaving Pathways of Social-symbolic work in a flanked healthcare movement. Forthcoming at Journal of Management Studies. 

Geiger, Susi and Théo Bourgeron (online first): In the name of transparency: Organizing European pharmaceutical markets through struggles over transparency devices. Organization Studies.

Vidolov, Simeon, Susi Geiger and Emma Stendahl (online first): Affective resonance and
durability in political organizing: The case of patients who hack. Organization Studies.

Martin, Bruce, Walsh, Lucia, Keating, Andrew and Susi Geiger (online first): The demise of a rising social enterprise for persons with disabilities: the ethics and the uncertainty of pure effectual logic when scaling up. Journal of Business Ethics.

Galasso, Ilaria and Susi Geiger (online first): Genetic research and the collective good: participants as leaders to reconcile individual and public interests. Journal of Medical Ethics, Geiger Susi, I. Galasso, N. Hangel, F. Lucivero and G. Watts (online first): Vulnerability and response-ability in the pandemic marketplace: Developing an ethic of care for provisioning in crisis. Journal of Business Ethics.  

Chimenti, Gianluca and Susi Geiger (2023): Organizing the sharing economy through experiments: Taming and framing as onto-epistemological work. Organization Studies  44(3) 377–400.

Ryan, A., Geiger, S., Haugh, H., Branzei, O., Gray, B., Lawrence, T., Creswell, T., Anderson, A., Jack, S., McKeever, E. (2023): Emplaced Partnerships and the Ethics of Care, Recognition and Resilience. Journal of Business Ethics.

Geiger, Susi and Nicole Gross (2023): Tech sharing, not tech hoarding: Global vaccine equity and the failed responsibility of the pharmaceutical industry. Organization.

Geiger, S. & A.McMahon (2023):  An institutional analysis of the landscape and proliferatio of proposals for Global Vaccine Equity for COVID-19: Too Many Cooks or too many Recipes? Journal of Medical Ethics 49:583–590.

Professor also sits on several scientific advisory boards and six editorial boards of international journals, including Organization Studies. 

Read more about Professor Geiger’s work here.

Discover our Rankings and Accreditations