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Judicialisation of the right to health in Brazil

Published in: The Lancet

Across Brazil, patients are turning to courts to access prescribed drugs.  A comment published in The Lancet, co-authored by Joe Amon, Director of the Health and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, addresses the judicialization of the right to health in Brazil. 

Brazil is one of at least 115 countries that recognise a constitutional right to health.  An important part of this right is access to pharmaceutical drugs. Although Brazil has the developing world's most advanced HIV/AIDS programme, many of its citizens still go to local pharmacies only to find that essential medicines are out of stock. Brazil is also one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in the world. Doctors increasingly prescribe and patients demand new drugs, some of questionable benefit.

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