The right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health has been recognized for more than half a century by various international instruments, most prominently the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet, health outcomes such as adult and infant mortality rates show that it has not yet been achieved in major parts of the world.

One of the main obstacles to realizing the universal right to health is that almost 2 billion people lack access to life-saving medicines. This chapter has two aims: one, to assess whether intellectual property rights of innovators can trump the right to health of the poor, and two, if not, whether a feasible reform plan to the intellectual property rights system could align the interests of innovators and the poor.