The complex relationship between health and global rules for trade and intellectual property remains highly-relevant and consequential. Twenty five years after the creation of the World Trade Organization, trade liberalisation is also moving forward through bilateral and regional trade agreements. Even though the WTO is considered as the 'parliament' of multilateral trade, not only are the number of other free trade agreements increasing, but the content of these agreements is also evolving. Initially, agreements focused on traditional trade, areas such as tariffs, services, and intellectual property. The debate about the role of intellectual property in pharmaceutical innovation continues, progress has been made, for example, through increased use of licensing agreements and patent pooling, as well as through the use of the remaining political flexibilities to adapt national intellectual property systems to individual country needs. But the launch of new, high-priced treatments for hepatitis C, cancer and orphan diseases has also fuelled the debate about what constitutes a fair price, including in Europe and the United States. New issues have emerged, such as the lack of investment in the development of new antibiotics and vaccines for pathogens with pandemic potential. In this context, this course covers topics that are increasingly important to successfully navigate trade, intellectual property, and health.
This course can be credited as an advanced module to the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Global Health Diplomacy.