Technological paradigms and trajectories in health: challenges of innovation in the care of diabetes

ABSTRACT In the health sector, the incorporation of innovations has contributed to an increased demand for public services, as well as technologies and the supplies used in the provision of health services. One of the health sectors which causes most pressures on services in terms of the incorporation of its products is the pharmaceutical industry. This study aims to describe the technological trajectories in the segment of anti-diabetic medication launched in Brazil between 1998 and 2012. These drugs represent a significant proportion of spending on medicine in the Country. By using a qualitative, descriptive and exploratory methodology, the present study endeavored to answer the following questions: have changes taken place in the technological trajectories over the time period considered herein? Have the innovations incorporated in the Country been of an incremental or radical nature? What are the evidences that support these changes in direction? In light of the data collected from a variety of databases, it was possible to verify that the anti-diabetic medications introduced during this period represented incremental innovations with respect to the technological trajectories considered herein.