Global health in foreign policy--and foreign policy in health? Evidence from the BRICS

Health Policy Plan. 2014 Sep;29(6):763-73. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czt063. Epub 2013 Sep 25.


Amidst the growing literature on global health, much has been written recently about the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) countries and their involvement and potential impact in global health, particularly in relation to development assistance. Rather less has been said about countries' motivations for involvement in global health negotiations, and there is a notable absence of evidence when their motivations are speculated on. This article uses an existing framework linking engagement in global health to foreign policy to explore differing levels of engagement by BRICS countries in the global health arena, with a particular focus on access to medicines. It concludes that countries' differing and complex motivations reinforce the need for realistic, pragmatic approaches to global health debates and their analysis. It also underlines that these analyses should be informed by analysis from other areas of foreign policy.

Keywords: BRICS; TRIPS; access to medicines; antiretroviral; emerging economies; global health diplomacy.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods
  • Global Health*
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Politics
  • Russia
  • Social Justice
  • South Africa


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents