Title

World Trade Organization: A Barrier to Global Public Health?

Document Type

Book Section

Publication Date

7-2021

ISBN

9780367436384

DOI

10.4324/9781003176602

Abstract

This chapter outlines several specific ways in which the World Trade Organization (WTO) has, through its actions, inactions, and/or prescriptions, detrimentally affected access to medicines. Hence, it outlines how WTO's myopic actions resulted in trade becoming a barrier to public health, and in turn, to trade itself. The chapter emphasizes that minimizing barriers to access medications and health is lifeline to minimizing barriers to trade. The WTO's agreements distinguish between domestic regulations and market access restrictions. Domestic regulations are internal national regulations. Market access restrictions are customs and other regulations that affect access to the market by third countries, thus acting as trade barriers. While innovation is an important mandate, IP regime's imbalances at the WTO have failed to account for local realities, largely contributing to a crisis in global access to medication. In fact, patent regime has transformed into a barrier to innovation and access to medicine, profoundly impacting the WTO negatively to a point of rendering it irrelevant.

First Page

25

Last Page

43

Num Pages

19

Series

Law, Development and Globalization

Publisher

Routledge

Editor

Srividhya Ragavan & Amaka Vanni

Book Title

Intellectual Property Law and Access to Medicines: TRIPS Agreement, Health, and Pharmaceuticals

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