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Global pharmaceutical development and access: critical issues of ethics and equity

Author(s): Agustín Lage Dávila

Journal: MEDICC Review
ISSN 1555-7960

Volume: 13;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 16;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Biotechnology | biological products | clinical trials | drug costs | economics | pharmaceutical | pharmaceutical preparations | intellectual property | patents | access to health care | world health | Cuba | Brazil

The article presents global data on access to pharmaceuticals and discusses underlying barriers. Two are highly visible: pricing policies and intellectual property rights; two are less recognized: the regulatory environment and scientific and technological capacities. Two ongoing transitions influence and even distort the problem of universal access to medications: the epidemiologic transition to an increasing burden of chronic non-communicable diseases; and the growing role of biotechnology products (especially immunobiologicals) in the pharmacopeia. Examples from Cuba and Brazil are used to explore what can and should be done to address commercial, regulatory, and technological aspects of assuring universal access to medications.
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