Access to Medicine in Developing Countries: Instituting State Obligation over Corporate Profit

Yusuf, Hakeem and Omoteso, Kamil (2021). Access to Medicine in Developing Countries: Instituting State Obligation over Corporate Profit. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 29(1) (In Press).

Abstract

This paper investigates the divergence between the objectives of the State in ensuring the right to health of citizens and the profit maximization objective of pharmaceutical corporations in relation to access to, and supply of, medicine. This is pertinent given the rising cost of medicines and unmet needs, particularly in developing countries. This paper analyses the contention between pharmaceutical corporations’ profit drive and the State’s welfare obligation. There is a need to bridge the gap between business and human rights and this can be achieved by combining the concepts of ‘business ethical responsibility’ and corporation’s contributions to ‘common good’ with the jurisprudence on the right to health. This is imperative in view of the impact of the business of pharmaceutical corporations on vulnerable populations particularly in, but not limited to, developing countries.

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