Patents or patients? Global access to pharmaceuticals and social justice

Gilles de Wildt, Chan Chee Khoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Innovation, vaccine development, and world-wide equitable access to necessary pharmaceuticals are hindered by current patenting arrangements and the orientation of pharmaceutical research. Plausible alternatives exist, including instituting the right of national or international agencies to act in the public interest and to buy patents selectively with a view to innovation and equitable access. Alternatives could partly or wholly finance themselves and lower pharmaceutical prices globally. Countries, individuals or groups of patients could help promote alternatives by calling into question the current emphasis on commercialization and profit, and by demanding globally equitable arrangements when sharing data that are important for research or when individuals or communities volunteer as research participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S52-61
JournalMedicine, Conflict and Survival
Volume24 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Affiliations are current (April 2018, Gilles de Wildt: Institute of Clinical Sciences,; Chan Chee khan University of Malaya), not necessarily same as time of publication


  • Biomedical Research
  • Drug Industry
  • Global Health
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Social Class
  • Social Justice
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Journal Article


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