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WTO and Health

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WTO and Health

  1. 1. WTO and Health
  2. 2. Introductions
  3. 3. Summary of the session  International Organisations  WTO  GATS  TRIPS  Brazil  South Africa  Video!!!
  4. 4. International Organisations What are they? – UN – WHO – WTO
  5. 5. WTO  World trade organisation  Founded in 1995 from GATTs  the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.  Trade liberalization
  6. 6. How the WTO works  Rounds of negotiations  One member one vote  Creates treaties  Binding rules
  7. 7. Why it has such and impact  It has Bite  Trade courts punishes infringements  Treaties prevent evasion of free trade promises  Countries monitored in periodic reviews
  8. 8. Infringements  Countries can say that another country has broken the agreements  A review  A panel decides  decision
  9. 9. SO … how does all this impact on health? BRAINSTORM
  10. 10. Two explicit ways!  General Agreement on Trade in services (GATS)  Trade related intellectual property rights (TRIPS)
  11. 11. GATS  General agreement on trade of services  What is a service? – Anything that you can’t drop on you foot (160 categories)  Health as a service
  12. 12. GATS…  Doesn’t force health services into agreement  If put health in the agreement – can’t take it out
  13. 13. TRIPS  Trade related intellectual property rights.  Treaty signed in 1994 as a result of the Uruguay round.  Sets standards for patenting  Based on industrial country standards  Developing countries were given a grace period to bring their practices in line  Dictates the minimum protection required by each member on intellectual property
  14. 14. To make you think ‘Our combined strength enabled us to establish a global private sector-government network which laid the groundwork for what became TRIPS’ – Edmund Pratt, CEO, Pfizer
  15. 15. Patents  Grants monopolies  Patent on process and product (article 28)  The patents last for 20 years (article 33)
  16. 16. So what does this mean?  Drug prices are high – set by pharmaceutical companies  People and governments can’t afford them
  17. 17. Alarm bells!!  Only started ringing after the ‘ink was dry’ on the agreement – consumer groups – developing country generics industry – groups campaigning on ‘patenting of life’ – HIV crisis  Agreement followed by renewed pressure for TRIPS compliance from US
  18. 18. Doha Round  Reinforced flexibility within TRIPS  Recognised need to protect public health  Encourage research and development
  19. 19. Compulsory licenses  Countries can issue them  Have to have legislation  6 month rule  How to produce them?  Canada and India
  20. 20. So why aren’t there lots of generics?  Difficult to produce  Complicated process  Uphill struggle
  21. 21. Who has taken advantage?  Malaysia issued a compulsory license in 2004  Cost of ARV’s is 17.4% of the cost in 2001  Six times the people are treated for the same money  Patent holders also dropped their prices
  22. 22. Brazil  Health minister announced a compulsory license  Drug companies reacted  Drug prices cut by pharmaceutical companies – 40% in some cases  Providing free ARV treatment  Can legally make or import generic drugs if the patent holder doesn’t manufacture it locally within 3 years
  23. 23. South Africa  Pharmaceutical companies brought a court case (Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association)  Part of the legislation in SA does not fit in with TRIPS – giving health minister the right to import generic drugs  Supported by WHO  Lots of international pressure  Dropped the case and paid the costs
  24. 24. New treaties Regional free-trade agreements - IP included under the agreement – US proposals would restrict grounds for compulsory licensing extend patent holders monopoly beyond 20 years

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