New book on social responsibility of pharmaceutical companies

April 1, 2013

On Thursday 28 March, the book Access to Medicines as a Human Right: Implications for Pharmaceutical Industry Responsibility was launched in Toronto, Canada. This interdisciplinary collection focuses on corporate responsibility for the provision of medicines in low- and middle-income countries.

According to the World Health Organization, one-third of the global population lacks access to essential medicines. Should pharmaceutical companies be ethically or legally responsible for providing affordable medicines for these people? Can the private sector be held accountable for protecting people’ right to health?

Tensions between social and business duties

The book begins with an examination of human rights, norms, and ethics in relation to the private sector, moving to consider the tensions between pharmaceutical companies’ social and business duties. Broad examinations of global conditions are complemented by case studies illustrating different approaches for addressing corporate conduct. The book was edited by Lisa Forman of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Jillian Clare Kohler of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in Canada and published by the University of Toronto Press.

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