Falling Short of the Rights to Health and Scientific Progress: Inadequate TB Drug Research and Access



The incorporation of human rights-based approaches into TB programs is gaining traction, but little work has explored the application of human rights norms and principles to TB research (a domain traditionally left to bioethics). TB research is gravely underfunded, and the scarcity of resources for TB drug development has contributed to the stubborn persistence of the TB epidemic and helped to create the conditions under which drug-resistant TB has developed and spread. This article shows how human rights—particularly human rights standards, norms, and principles related to the rights to health and benefits of scientific progress—can provide insight into understanding how underfunding TB drug research undermines efforts to secure access to safe, effective, and optimized treatment for all people with TB. By analyzing TB research in relation to the rights to health and scientific progress, we aim to clarify the legal obligations of governments to improve the TB drug research system, fund TB research, and make medical advances that result from research available to all people with TB.


Frick, M., Henry, I., & Lessem, E. (2016). Falling short of the rights to health and scientific progress: inadequate TB drug research and access. Health and human rights18(1), 9.
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