Professor Jillian Kohler Publishes Paper in Science Translational Medicine

Professor Jillian Kohler of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto, Tim Mackey of the University of California, Maureen Lewis of the School of Foreign Service, and Taryn Vian of Boston University School of Public Health, recently published “Combating corruption in global health” in Science Translational Medicine. This initiative is supported by the Faculty’s World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency for the Pharmaceutical Sector, led by Kohler as its Director.

Humanity has been plagued by corruption as long as it has been fighting diseases. Yet, only in the past twenty years has the international community fully recognized the immense costs and pervasiveness of corruption, including its negative impact on human health, where corruption can mean the difference between life and death.

Importantly, health-related corruption has a direct negative impact on multiple areas of society including economic growth, development, security, and population health. Susceptibility to corruption in the health sector is accentuated by health system complexity, large amounts of public spending, market uncertainty, information asymmetry, and many actors, all of which can obstruct anti-corruption efforts.

While the exact magnitude of health corruption is difficult to measure, estimates put it in the billions of dollars. However, the true cost for millions who suffer from compromised access to health services and denial of life-saving treatments is immeasurable. The paper discusses the multifactorial challenges of combating corruption in global health and explore how the United Nations¹ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can act as a catalyst to translate global commitments into effective action needed to scale-up anti-corruption tools, programs, evaluations, and policies.

To read the paper, please click here.