The right to the highest attainable standard of health is the internationally agreed objective of national health systems. The right covers universal access to health care and social factors governing the health of populations, such as access to safe and adequate drinking water, sanitation, food, and housing.

Prof Allyson Pollock and her colleagues undertake research and teaching intended to assist the realisation of these principles of social justice and public health, looking in particular at health systems research, trade, and pharmaceuticals. A strong emphasis is on developing critical analysis through education and research and through translating research findings into policy at the national and international level. The work is interdisciplinary, including epidemiology, law, statistics, economics, accounting, sociology, and anthropology.

Universal access to health care is the primary focus and in particular the means by which local and national systems redistribute resources across society by sharing the risks and costs of ill-health. The work includes the study of public private partnerships in health and long term care, pharmaceuticals, and medical research, and how public health interfaces with trade law and intellectual property agreements.

Local and global issues converge around, for instance, the social and economic aspects of clinical trials, how medicines are accessed, the estimation of the global burden of disease, and evidence underpinning access to medicines policies; the setting of health care priorities through the creation and use of clinical evidence; and the export of managed health care systems.

About Prof Allyson Pollock

Prof Allyson Pollock is director of the Newcastle University Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science. She was director of Newcastle’s Institute of Health & Society, and has set up and directed research and teaching units at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Edinburgh, establishing some of the UK’s leading undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in global health. Prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research & Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Trust.

She trained in medicine in Scotland and became a consultant in public health medicine in 1991. Her research interests include regulatory science, rational medicines use, and access to medicines; health service reorganisation, marketisation and PFI / PPPs; and childhood injuries and the epidemiology of trauma.

She is the author of NHS plc and Tackling rugby, and co-author of The New NHS: a guide