We argue that deliberative decision-making that is inclusive, transparent and accountable can contribute to more trustworthy and legitimate decisions on difficult ethical questions and political trade-offs during the pandemic and beyond.
As health policy-makers around the world seek to make progress towards universal health coverage, they must navigate between two important ethical imperatives: to set national spending priorities fairly and efficiently; and to safeguard the right to health. These imperatives can conflict, leading some to conclude that rights-based approaches present a disruptive influence on health policy, hindering states’ efforts to set priorities fairly and efficiently. Here, we challenge this perception. We argue first that these points of tension stem largely from inadequate (...) interpretations of the aims of priority setting as well as the right to health. We then discuss various ways in which the right to health complements traditional concerns of priority setting and vice versa. Finally, we set out a three-step process by which policy-makers may navigate the ethical and legal considerations at play. (shrink)
This paper discusses the post-trial access to drugs for patients who participated in clinical trials in Brazil. The ethical guidance for clinical trials in Brazil is arguably one of the clearest in the world in attributing to research sponsors the responsibility for providing post-trial drugs to patients who participated in their experiments. The Federal Constitution recognizes health as a fundamental right to be fulfilled by the State. Based on the Brazilian constitution and on the National Health Council resolutions, courts have (...) been accepting patients' claims and ordering the State and the pharmaceutical companies to provide these patients with the tested treatment in the quantity and duration they need it. This generous interpretation of the duties of the pharmaceutical companies and the State makes the Brazilian model for post-trial access unique when compared to the experience of other countries and thus should be followed with attention by future research in order to assess its consequences for patients, research sponsors, and the public health system. (shrink)
This paper discusses so-called post-trial access to drugs for patients who participated in clinical trials in Brazil. Brazil is currently a relevant country for the pharmaceutical industry due to the dimensions of its actual and potential market. As a consequence, the number of pharmaceutical trials has been rising. It is the largest market for pharmaceutical companies in Latin America, the 8th biggest in the world and second only to China among the so-called BRICS’s emerging countries. The demand for pharmaceutical products (...) in the country has been increasing by double digits over the last few years, reaching 20% in 2008. Not surprisingly, we are also witnessing a steady increase in the number of applications by national and international pharmaceutical companies before ethical research authorities for authorization to perform clinical trials of drugs. (shrink)