Intellectual Property and the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Moral Crossroads between Health and Property [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Business Ethics 55 (3):295 - 308 (2004)
The moral justification of intellectual property is often called into question when placed in the context of pharmaceutical patents and global health concerns. The theoretical accounts of both John Rawls and Robert Nozick provide an excellent ethical framework from which such questions can be clarified. While Nozick upholds an individual's right to intellectual property, based upon its conformation with Lockean notions of property and Nozick's ideas of just acquisition and transfer, Rawls emphasizes the importance of basic liberties, such as an individual's right to health, superceding such secondary rights as intellectual property rights. From a policy perspective, patent protection for pharmaceutical products necessarily entails the balancing of corporate intellectual property interests and public interests in healthcare. The moral dilemma that occurs when these two interests clash is not easily resolved. Aside from corporate and public interests, the state maintains an interest in creating and preserving policies that regulate the moral dilemma itself. This paper analyzes the economic and ethical factors surrounding the production and distribution of the anti-HIV medication, AZT. Potential policy implications and recommendations are also discussed.
|Keywords||AIDS global trade intellectual property nozick patent pharmaceutical rawls|
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References found in this work BETA
Robert Nozick (1974). Anarchy, State and Utopia. Basic Books.
Will Kymlicka (2002). Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction. Oxford University Press.
John Locke (1988). Two Treatises of Government. Cambridge University Press.
Edwin C. Hettinger (1989). Justifying Intellectual Property. Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (1):31-52.
James Tully (1980). A Discourse on Property: John Locke and His Adversaries. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Lubomira Radoilska (2008). Truthfulness and Business. Journal of Business Ethics 79 (1/2):21 - 28.
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