Politics as Usual: What Lies Behind the Pro-Poor Rhetoric
Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010
Worldwide, human lives are rapidly improving. The affluent states and many international organizations are working steadily to extend the blessings of modernity through trade and generous development assistance, and it won’t be long until the last pockets of severe oppression and poverty are gone. Heavily promoted by Western governments and media, this comforting view of the world is widely shared, at least among the affluent. Thomas Pogge’s new book presents an alternative view: Poverty and oppression persist on a massive scale; political and economic inequalities are rising dramatically both intra-nationally and globally. The affluent states and the international organizations they control knowingly contribute greatly to these evils—selfishly promoting rules and policies harmful to the poor while hypocritically pretending to set and promote ambitious development goals. A powerful moral analysis that shows what Western states would do if they really cared about the values they profess.
Incentives for Global Public Health
Edited by Thomas Pogge, Matthew Rimmer and Kim Rubenstein
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010
This portrait of the global debate over patent law and access to essential medicines focuses on public health concerns about HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, the SARS virus, influenza, and diseases of poverty. The essays explore the diplomatic negotiations and disputes in key international fora, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Drawing upon international trade law, innovation policy, intellectual property law, health law, human rights and philosophy, the authors seek to canvass policy solutions which encourage and reward worthwhile pharmaceutical innovation while ensuring affordable access to advanced medicines. A number of creative policy options are critically assessed, including the development of a Health Impact Fund, prizes for medical innovation, the use of patent pools, open-source drug development and forms of “creative capitalism.”
Articles and Book Chapters:
“A Critique in Need of Critique”
Matt Peterson, Aidan Hollis, and Thomas Pogge
Public Health Ethics
Is it really necessary to add something like the Health Impact Fund to the existing global patent system? We can divide this question into two parts. First, is there something seriously wrong with the status quo and, if so, what exactly is it? Second, how do we best go about solving the problem; that is, how does the design of the reform proposal address the flaws in the status quo? This defense of the Health Impact Fund affords us the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to ameliorating glaring problems with the current system for incentivizing R&D for essential medicines, and to clarify why we believe the HIF is exactly what the world needs.
Op-Eds and Newspaper Articles:
“American Sugar Policy Leaves a Sour Taste”
President Barack Obama has not made good on his promises to end a U.S. trade policy that “favors the few, not the many.” The United States continues its staunch support for domestic agriculture, which includes tight restrictions on sugar imports. Sugar import quotas and tariffs produce a pattern of dependency and deprivation among poorer producing countries. The ultimate winners are corporate farm owners, both in the United States and abroad; workers and consumers consistently lose. Reform must be carefully targeted to improve labor standards and correct for the imbalances produced by decades of skewed trade policy.