ZYGO 2: “The Pharmaceutical Industry’s Ethical Obligations to Underserved Populations”

Friday, October 24, 2014
When: 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Location: 
Harman Academy, DML 241

The pharmaceutical industry is frequently criticized as being focused entirely on making a profit and not truly caring for the wellbeing of the people. This seminar will explore if pharmaceutical companies have any ethical obligations towards underserved populations, or if, like any other company, ultimately serve to gain profit. The Agreement of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights was passed by the World Trade Organization in 1996, enabling countries without access to patented pharmaceuticals to apply for compulsory licenses and produce generic copies of drugs without the permission of the patent owner. Since 2003, compulsory license holders can also export generic drugs to other countries that lack production capabilities. Panelists will consider how compulsory licenses both improve and complicate the landscape of pharmaceutical access on a global scale.

Panelists include:

Jeff McCombs, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Economics & Policy, USC Schaeffer

Erin Quinn, Associate Dean for Science and Health, USC Dornsife

Heather Wipfli, Associate Director, USC Institute for Global Health and Assistant Professor, Department of Preventative Medicine and School of International Relations, USC Keck School of Medicine

ZYGO is a joint program of the Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study and the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics.  The series is organized by USC students in health and medicine who seek dialogue with USC faculty across disciplines in order to increase the integration of ethical themes into their curriculum.