IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Sufficiency economy, the King’s philosophy: an application of Buddhist economics to develop Thai local pharmaceutical industries for sustainable well-being

Listed author(s):
  • Suntharee T. Chaisumritchoke


    (Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand)

Registered author(s):

    This article is developed from a policy research carried out to study the impacts on local pharmaceutical industries in case that the Thai government decides to accept the free trade agreement (FTA) on pharmaceutical products proposed by the US government. Despite that the US-Thai FTA is unfair, the Thai government is likely to accept the agreement due to international political pressures and a globalized discourse claiming free trades. Therefore the research recommended applying “Sufficiency Economy”, the King’s Philosophy as a survival strategy for both local industries and Thai people. Sufficiency Economy, as a part of Buddhist Economics, comprises of three principles and two fundamental conditions. The principles are moderation, rationality and self-immunity to changes , while the two conditions include wisdom or abilities to understand things properly and morality or a moral commitment not to put burden on others. The article proposed that there are three levels of all kinds of development according to the application of the principle of moderation. If applied at the first level, it means that the local industries are supposed to build their own capabilities and put emphasis on internal potentials or resources rather than external ones. The second level concerns with the other companies’ survival. If applied, the local companies are supposed to support, not compete against each other. Then, it would lead to network building and increasing strength of local industry groups. However, the two levels may be perceived as concerning only on business benefits. The third level concerning with survival of all involved is therefore the most required approach, where the local companies would run business with a truthful devotion for real health needs of Thai people. That is, the third level is for the well-being of all people. However, this level is less likely to be implemented; most local industries still lack right understanding on sufferings of patients, and its relationship with their survival. As “suffering” was the central strategy proposed by the Buddha, the article proposes that the local industries should learn from patients’ sufferings. Sufferings from sickness are common burdens of life, it is morally wrong to increase any burdens to anyone, even ourselves. In case that the multinational pharmaceutical companies earn excess profits and put more burdens on poor patients, the local companies would contribute to minimise these sufferings. The approach concerning patients’ sufferings would help local companies gain more supports from Thai patients and it may call for more understanding from other people over the world. Sooner or later it may change the world a better place for everyone to live happily and healthy.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: subscription

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary in its journal Society and Economy.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 235-252

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:29:y:2007:i:2:p:235-252
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal: Akadémiai Kiadó Zrt., Prielle K. u. 21-35. Budapest, 1117, Hungary
    Web: Email:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:29:y:2007:i:2:p:235-252. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vajda, Lőrinc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.