Book review: Soft Law and Global Health Problems
This engaging book looks at inequality in global healthcare provision and the laws that support it
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The book opens with the story of a woman in Uganda with AIDS who is unable to access treatment due to lack of money and dies a painful death at the age of 33. Her death, despite drugs being available that could have helped her, begins a discussion of inequalities in healthcare provision.
Author Sharifah Sekalala focuses on the millions of people suffering from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. This book considers how hard laws, which are binding legal instruments such as the trade-related aspects of intellectual property agreements, have made access to drugs cost-prohibitive for many who need them, particularly in developing countries. Hard law prioritises patent rights.
Soft law approaches, which are not normally legally binding, can be easier for counties to...