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NGOs, consumer rights and access to essential medicines: non-governmental public action in a low-income market context

Mujinja, Phares G.M.; Koivusalo, Meri; Mackintosh, Maureen and Chaudhuri, Sudip (2013). NGOs, consumer rights and access to essential medicines: non-governmental public action in a low-income market context. In: Howell, Jude ed. Non-Governmental Public Action and Social Justice. Non-Governmental Public Action Series. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 112–135.

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Abstract

If medicines are obtained by a low income population largely through market exchange, then consumer rights become a key aspect of the right to health, and hence a key aspect of tackling severe injustice and inequality. In Tanzania and India, where market-based access to medicines is dominant, regulation of retail sales is also weak and impoverished consumers lack necessary information about the medicines they are buying. As a result they face, unprotected, dangers of the medicine markets that may include substandard medicines, incomplete treatment, inappropriate and even dangerous treatments, over-priced medicines, worsening impoverishment and/or exclusion for inability to pay, and rising anti-microbial resistance.
We document just how vulnerable medicines consumers are in these circumstance, and the lack of effective consumer protection. We argue that consumers cannot place their trust in the market transaction alone to gain access to rational treatment with essential medicines. In these circumstances, non-governmental public action has an important role to play. We conclude that local and international non-governmental public action can do much more to promote consumer rights as one key route to the promotion of the right to health of impoverished populations.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2013 Chapter authors
ISBN: 0-230-29036-1, 978-0-230-29036-5
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Non-governmental action to improve access by the poor to good quality, low cost drugsRES-155-25-0046ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council)
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Economics
Research Group: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Institute for Innovation Generation in the Life Sciences (Innogen)
Item ID: 38661
Depositing User: Maureen Mackintosh
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2013 08:51
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:45
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/38661
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