Better access to drugs could save 10 million lives a year, says UN expert

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 27 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:635
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. Geneva

    Better access to drugs, especially in poor countries, could save 10 million lives each year, four million of them in Africa and South East Asia, an independent UN expert said as he unveiled a set of draft guidelines for pharmaceutical companies on access to drugs.

    The 50 draft provisions drew a mixed response from interested parties. They were welcomed by groups that advocate for access to affordable drugs but were strongly criticised by the industry.

    Announcing the guidelines, Paul Hunt, the United Nations' special rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, said, “Almost two billion people lack access to essential medicines. Improving access to existing medicines could save 10 million …

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