Trade, Intellectual Property & Health

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From 17 to 19 Feb. 2020

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(Applications open until 31 Jan. 2020)

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.

who is this programme for?


  • Health and international relations professionals in departments of international health, ministries of health, foreign affairs,trade and development cooperation

  • Representatives from international, regional and non-governmental organisations

  • Professionals in philanthropic organisations, private sector and academia

programme highlights


  • Intensive three-day course with renowned faculty and leading practitioners

  • Combine theory and practice through lectures, panel discussions, working group exercises and a negotiation simulation

  • Meet in the world's global health capital

programme content


This course will introduce participants to the interface of trade, intellectual property and public health policies and increase participant understanding of these intersections. The course will also include the following topics of discussion:

  • The challenges of balancing innovation and access to medical products

  • How to foster R&D for antimicrobial resistance and balance stewardship and access

  • WTO dispute settlement and the example of plain packaging

  • Food labelling and the WTO TBT and SPS agreements

  • Challenges and perspectives for the future

Sample Programme

teaching methodologies


The course is highly participatory, drawing on the national and international professional experiences of participants through a multi-disciplinary learning process. It includes:

  • Multi-stakeholder panels

  • Lectures by internationally-renowned experts and negotiators

  • Case studies

  • Working groups



The Executive Course on Trade, Intellectual Property and Health is a 3-day full time course. Sessions normally run from 09:00 to 18.00.

programme fees


Tuition for attending the full programme is 1,800 Swiss francs. The tuition fee includes teaching costs, course material and the use of Graduate Institute facilities. It does not include travel and accommodation expenses nor travel, health or personal insurances. Participants are advised to contract their own insurance.



course location


The course will take place at the Graduate Institute, Villa Barton, Rue de Lausanne 132, Geneva.



Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of attendance from the Graduate Institute. Participants have the possibility to complement the course with a research paper and earn 3 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System).





Up to 20 participants are admitted to the course.



Participants are responsible for their own accommodation during the course. Further information is sent to participants upon acceptance to the course.



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