Using the Right to Health to Enforce the Corporate Responsibilities of Pharmaceutical Companies with Regard to Access to Medicines

Journal of Health Diplomacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013

16 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2013

See all articles by Emmanuel Kolawole Oke

Emmanuel Kolawole Oke

Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinnburgh

Date Written: July 5, 2013

Abstract

Objective: This essay seeks to determine how the corporate responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies in relation to access to medicines can be clarified and enforced.

Method: Two cases, one each from India and South Africa, are examined to determine how the domestic courts in both countries indirectly utilized the right to health to ensure that pharmaceutical companies did not impede access to affordable medicines through exercising their patent rights.

Summary of findings: There is a need to clarify and enforce the responsibilities pharmaceutical companies have to promote the right to health. The two cases from India and South Africa demonstrate the potentials of domestic courts as forums where these responsibilities can be effectively enforced.

Implications: In the absence of a global enforcement mechanism for enforcing the right-to-health responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies, domestic courts can effectively fill this gap. In addition, this essay demonstrates that domestic courts can equally serve as forums for health diplomacy.

Keywords: Access to Medicines, Right to Health, Corporate Responsibilities of Pharmaceutical Companies, Patent Rights, Developing Countries

JEL Classification: K30

Suggested Citation

Oke, Emmanuel Kolawole, Using the Right to Health to Enforce the Corporate Responsibilities of Pharmaceutical Companies with Regard to Access to Medicines (July 5, 2013). Journal of Health Diplomacy, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2332604

Emmanuel Kolawole Oke (Contact Author)

Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinnburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.emmanueloke.com

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