Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 40 (2):220-233 (2012)

J. Y. Lee
Bristol University
The Constitution of the World Health Organization affirms that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lays the foundations for the international framework for the right to health. This human right is now codified in numerous national constitutions, as well as legally binding international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.Although medical care and access to medicines are vital features of the right to health, almost two billion people lack access to essential medicines, leading to immense avoidable suffering. Improving access to essential medicines could save 10 million lives each year, four million of them in Africa and South-East Asia alone. Gross inequity is a shocking feature of the world pharmaceutical situation.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1748-720x.2012.00660.x
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