Intellectual Property and Human Rights from a Cosmopolitan Liberal Perspective
Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. Martin Luther King, Jr.1 THE GLOBAL HEALTH CHALLENGE Today’s world is characterised by a disturbing reality: on one hand, there is remarkable and ongoing technological progress in various spheres of activity while, on the other, the substantial gap existing between the world’s rich and its poor constantly deepens. Indeed, despite our impressive state of knowledge, innovation, and development, at least 1.1 billion individuals continue to fight for their daily survival, more than 2.7 billion others live in acute poverty, on less than $2 a day and more than 200 million children are prevented from achieving their full development potential.2 Such extreme poverty engenders terrible consequences, such as widespread infant mortality and adult premature deaths, severe malnutrition, and lack of access to basic necessities such as drinkable water, basic sanitation, shelter, and health care.3 All UN Member 1 Quoted in L. Sheremeta and B.M. Knoppers, ‘Beyond the Rhetoric: Population Genetics and Benefit-Sharing’ (2003) 11 Health Law Journal 89. 2 Early Child Development Knowledge Network of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, Total environment assessment model for early child development – Evidence report, 2007, Geneva, World Health Organization, online http://www.who.int/social_determinants/resources/ecd_kn_evidence_report_2007.pdf (accessed 20 May 2009) at p. 86; P.L. Engle et al. ‘Strategies to Avoid the Loss of Developmental Potential in More than 200 million Children in the Developing World’ (2007) 369 Lancet 229; Commission Social Determinants of Health (CSDH), Closing the...