Using the right to health to enforce the corporate responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies with regard to access to medicines

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalJournal of Health Diplomacy
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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