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Human Rights Challenges Facing Abbott Laboratories: Risks and Recommendations

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre | April 26, 2007

By Lisa Sachs, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Achieving widespread access to medicines will require a broader response to the public health crisis, including responsible actions by developing country governments, donor governments, the private sector and other members of society. Pharmaceutical companies play an important role in the broad response to the health crisis. Today's social contract, on which pharmaceutical companies depend to finance R&D and protect intellectual property, demands companies to take creative, wide-ranging steps to increase access to medicines and help protect the universal right to health. 97 Abbott's present response to access to medicine issues is inadequate; Abbott engages in one dispute after another with developing countries: shirking its responsibility to address the right to health within its sphere of influence, engaging in expensive and time-consuming negotiations and litigation over patent rights in markets that account for less than 1 percent of global pharmaceutical sales, and drawing negative publicity and damage to its reputation in the process.

(The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has published the Abbott Laboratories response to this ICCR report.)

External Link: Human Rights Challenges Facing Abbott Laboratories

Read More: Business, Health, Human Rights

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