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Publication - published on 07 Nov 2017

Why it matters – Pharmaceutical Compliance, Anti-corruption and Access to Medicine

In the article, Luca Genovese and Danny Edwards, Researchers at the Access to Medicine Foundation, discuss the role of pharmaceutical companies in limiting corrupt acts and unethical behaviour to mitigate their harmful impact on access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries.

Access to medicine continues to be out of reach for an estimated two billion people worldwide. While it is clear that corruption plays a role in that problem, the true scope and cost of global health corruption is unknown. This article examines what pharmaceutical companies do and what role they should play in eliminating corruption as part of the equation of ensuring access.

In the global health sector, it is estimated that USD 7.35 trillion was spent worldwide in 2013 on the provision of health services, with a loss rate of 6.19%, equating to USD 455 billion in losses. This loss can be attributed to fraud, corruption, or errors. This figure takes on much greater significance when considering the opportunity-cost it means to the health of real people, and in particular to the world’s most vulnerable. Globally, there are an estimated 2 billion people with no access to medicine, with most of these living in low- and middle income countries. There are various causes for this lack of access: Corruption and unethical behaviour in the pharmaceutical sector can be counted amongst them. Read more >>



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