Drug Companies Should Be Held More Accountable for Their Human Rights Responsibilities

  • Published: September 28, 2010
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000344
  • Published in PLOS Medicine

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Access to Medications as a Human Right

Posted by toneyje on 30 Sep 2010 at 17:18 GMT

I agree that "The challenge for the pharmaceutical industry is to develop viable business models that allow for profit whilst respecting and promoting human rights."

The question is: which business models might work best? Most of us would agree that the status quo business model of traditional intellectual property fueling innovation is not the best approach.

I advocate consideration of open innovation, exemplified by such models as the Gilead Access Program that provides medications at or near cost for clinical trials in developing countries. This argument is presented in my recent article published in Truthout:

Ultimately, pharmaceutical companies would do well to remember these words from George Merck:

"We try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits. The profits follow, and if we have remembered that, they have never failed to appear."

No competing interests declared.