Opinion: How can we get pharma companies to do more for global health? Try ranking them

Friday, September 23, 2016

The World Health Organization reports that a third of the world’s population cannot access important medicines for some of the world’s most devastating diseases, like malaria and tuberculosis.

There are many reasons these drugs are out of reach of so many people, but the fact that few medicines to treat diseases like malaria and tuberculosis are developed and that the prices are high for the drugs that are developed are major factors.

I study ethics and work on questions about the obligations of pharmaceutical companies, and I believe that these companies have a moral and legal obligation to ensure access to essential medicines. … I head the Global Health Organization, which produces an index assessing the impact of drugs that treat some of the world’s most devastating diseases. As I argue in a recently published article in The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, this could create an incentive for companies to live up to their obligations. For instance, in the future if consumers in the developed world know which companies are doing the most for global health, they may choose to purchase products from those companies.

Source: The Conversation (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
Base of the Pyramid