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Investing For Life: Meeting poor people's needs for access to medicines through responsible business practices

November 3, 2010

There are major shortcomings in the pharmaceutical industry's current initiatives to ensure that poor people have access to medicines. To shore up its own flagging economic performance, the industry is increasingly looking to the potentially huge markets within emerging economies. Yet, poor people who live in these countries still desperately lack affordable and appropriate medicines. The time is ripe for a bold new approach. The industry must put access to medicines at the heart of its decision-making and practices. This is both a more sustainable long-term business strategy and would allow the industry to better play its role in achieving the universal right to health.

Business and the Millennium Development Goals: Your Call to Action

October 29, 2010

The MDGs were adopted in the context of increasing global insecurity, and poverty was perceived as a key factor fuelling it. The role of business, albeit important, was seen as no more than complementary to the obligation of the international community to meet the Goals. Consequently, the private sector was called upon primarily to 'make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications'. Recent global crises - rising food prices, climate change, the credit crunch, social unrest - point to a markedly different relationship between businesses and the MDGs. Many companies are inextricably linked with these various problems, able either to exacerbate or to relieve them. Businesses are no longer merely complementary to the efforts of the international community to meet the MDGs. They are instrumental to their achievement.