International Trade Agreements and Pharmaceutical Policy and Regulation in China

Date: 24 May 2018

Will China succeed in balancing the benefits of free trade with the goal of universal health coverage and access to essential medicines?

This presentation explores the potential implications of two proposed mega-regional trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region for pharmaceutical policy and regulation in China. China is a participant in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), under negotiation between 16 countries since 2012. While it is not involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, now resurrected and rebranded as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP or TPP-11), it will be indirectly affected through changes in regional trade and the integration of TPP-like rules into RCEP.

Trade agreements can profoundly affect pharmaceutical policy and regulation through multiple pathways along the supply chain, with implications for the viability of the domestic generic medicines industry, medicine prices and availability, the assessment of drug safety and efficacy, and the procurement and distribution of medicines. The presentation will examine the rules that have been proposed for RCEP and included in the TPP-11, and trace their likely effects in China, with a focus on access to affordable medicines.

About the Speaker

Dr Deborah Gleeson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Public Health at La Trobe University. She has a Master of Public Health and a PhD in health policy. She teaches in the Bachelor of Health Sciences, Master of Public Health and Master of Health Administration. Her research interests focus on the impact of international trade agreements on public health and access to medicines and she has published over 25 peer-reviewed papers on this topic. She is actively involved in the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) where she co-convenes the Political Economy of Health Special Interest Group and represents PHAA on issues related to trade and health. She was awarded a 2015 PHAA President’s Award for public health leadership, engagement and commitment on the impact of international trade issues on health.

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