The purpose of this paper is to defend the appropriateness of a global governance framework for the transnational pharmaceutical corporations (TNPCs) as a way to tackle the problems resulting out of a non‐implementation or violation of the “right to health” by a lack of accessibility of vital medicines in developing countries, and control the risks of the TNPCs themselves and to provide for more accountability and trust on their part. The aim is to show that such a framework can prepare the ground for a win‐win‐situation for all stakeholders and for a sustainable combination of interests in profits, human rights, especially the “right to health”, and human welfare.
This is a conceptual paper on the basis of step‐by‐step analytical and interdiscinplinary approach that requires to pick up arguments from economics, business ethics, law, political science as well as aspects of the human rights and the health governance discourse. A broad spectrum of literature and various information sources are referred to: scientific articles and monographs, newspaper and magazine articles, internet sources and information provided by the corporations themselves and by NGOs (non‐governmental organizations), as well as recent academic and institutional publications. Desk research is the underlying technique to analyze the sources in a heuristic and interpretative way. For a better understanding, first the complexity of the implementation of “the right to health” and the role of different actors will be outlined and second, advantages, positive impacts and deficits of existing health‐related CSR (corporate social responsibility) and multistakeholder initiatives by the TNPCs will be pointed out. This is to prepare a ground for arguing in favor of a global governance framework for the TNPCs and to underline the existence of external and internal drivers for the TNPCs to adhere to a global governance framework.
Especially in developing countries the “right to health” is poorly implemented. TNPCs could contribute to improvements and partly already do so. Yet, the existing approaches are deficitary, insufficient and not sustainable. The problem calls for more accountability in regard to the access to vital medicines. A global governance frameworks for the TNPCs would pose a win‐win‐opportunity: While the TNPCs can benefit from more accountability, precisely defined responsibilities as well as efficiency by constructive, strategic partnerships on a stable level‐playing‐field and a legitimized conduct, their stakeholders benefit from an improved accessibility to vital medicines and an enhanced implementation of the “right to health”.
The paper contributes to the ongoing debate on how to improve the implementation of “right to health” by improving the accessibility of vital medicines, especially in developing (and emerging) countries. It proposes new modes of CSR‐based conduct and partnerships of the TNPCs and a framework of global governance that are urgently required to tackle with a long‐term perspective the problems and threats that pandemics pose on a global scale and to cut down risks for the TNPCs while also widening their markets.
Greve, J. (2008), "Healthcare in developing countries and the role of business: a global governance framework to enhance the accountability of pharmaceutical companies", Corporate Governance, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 490-505. https://doi.org/10.1108/14720700810899220Download as .RIS
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