Can drug patents be morally justified?

Science and Engineering Ethics 11 (1):81-92 (2005)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper offers a few elements of an answer to the question to what extent drug patents can be morally justified. Justifications based on natural rights, distributive justice and utilitarian arguments are discussed and criticized. The author recognizes the potential of the patents to benefit society but argues that the system is currently evolving in the wrong direction, particularly in the field of drugs. More than a third of the world’s population has no access to essential drugs. The working of the patent system is an important determinant of access to drugs. This paper argues that drug patents are not easily justified and that the ‘architecture’ of the patent system should be rethought in view of its mission of benefiting society.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,466

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
46 (#252,080)

6 months
1 (#417,143)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Sigrid Sterckx
University of Ghent