The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Moral Duty of Guaranteeing Access to Medicine: An Exploratory Study
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Over the years, many claims have been made about the pharmaceutical industry’s responsibility regarding access to medicine. Usually, the pharmaceutical industry’s responsibilities towards society are seen as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). However, CSR approaches are not able to underlie this duty properly. This thesis is an exploratory study on the moral considerations that underlie the pharmaceutical industry’s moral duty of guaranteeing access to medicine. I have explored the duty from two perspectives: the political-philosophical and the actor-based perspective. I found that both perspectives provide relevant moral considerations that support the pharmaceutical industry’s duty of guaranteeing access to medicine. This produces considerations that can be used to plead for appointing that the duty of guaranteeing access to medicine is a moral duty of the pharmaceutical industry. This challenges the way we currently understand the pharmaceutical industry’s duty of guaranteeing access to medicine as being an optional activity, rather than an obligatory one.