The pharmaceutical industry is a crucial touchstone in the discussion of corporate responsibility to promote human rights. This relationship is, however, problematic at best and, at worst work in opposition to each other. At the same time that drug producers are instrumental in promoting a basic level of human welfare, the outlook of major pharmaceutical corporations are mitigated by unfiltered lenses of profit. With hundreds of millions of dollars spent on research and development, patenting, and marketing, they understandably develop strategies for handling reoccurring costs. But should a morally responsible international community redirect these costs to the developing world or ask consumers in the global North to endure “artificially high” prices to offset gross inequalities? Alternatively, is there means to set reasonable prices based on the economic reality of each country?

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