Are Drug Companies Living Up to Their Human Rights Responsibilities? Moving Towards Assessment

PLoS Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 9, pp. 1-3, 2010

3 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2011

See all articles by Sofia Gruskin

Sofia Gruskin

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine; University of Southern California Gould School of Law; Harvard School of Public Health

Zyde Raad

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Background to the debate: The human rights responsibilities of drug companies have been considered for years by nongovernmental organizations, but were most sharply defined in a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in August 2008. The, ‘‘Human Rights Guidelines for Pharmaceutical Companies in Relation to Access to Medicines,’’ include responsibilities for transparency, management, monitoring and accountability, pricing, and ethical marketing, and against lobbying for more protection in intellectual property laws, applying for patents for trivial modifications of existing medicines, inappropriate drug promotion, and excessive pricing. Two years after the release of the Guidelines, the PLoS Medicine Debate asks whether drug companies are living up to their human rights responsibilities. Sofia Gruskin and Zyde Raad from the Harvard School of Public Health say more assessment is needed of such responsibilities; Geralyn Ritter, Vice President of Global Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Merck & Co. argues that multiple stakeholders could do more to help States deliver the right to health; and Paul Hunt and Rajat Khosla introduce Mr. Hunt’s work as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health, regarding the human rights responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies and access to medicines.

Suggested Citation

Gruskin, Sofia and Raad, Zyde, Are Drug Companies Living Up to Their Human Rights Responsibilities? Moving Towards Assessment (2010). PLoS Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 9, pp. 1-3, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1871172

Sofia Gruskin (Contact Author)

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine ( email )

2001 N. Soto Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

HOME PAGE: http://globalhealth.usc.edu/ghhr

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Harvard School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Zyde Raad

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

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