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Why life-saving drugs should be public goods

Rachana Kamtekar

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2004.040


Omar Swartz presents a number of good arguments in favour of treating the formulae for making human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other life-saving drugs as public goods rather than private property: ideas can be shared without being used up; the most effective use of blueprints for life-saving medicine is to provide drugs to sick people; finally, it is clearly unreasonable if ‘a person who owns something…can dispose of (or control access to) that [thing]…without regard for others.’

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