53rd PAHO Directing Council: PHM denounces silence of health law strategy on trade and investment agreements
PHM insisted that the strategy should provide explicit legal guidance regarding:
- the design of domestic legislation to make use of the flexibilities provided for in the TRIPs agreement;
- the use of cost-effectiveness criteria in setting prices for national procurement and/or pharmaceutical reimbursement schemes;
- the avoidance of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions which reduce domestic policy space and give transnational corporations greater power to intimidate small countries.
Read the full statement.
The PHM of the Americas jointly with country chapters of Asociación Latinoamericana de Medicina Social (ALAMES) in Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico have developed comments and suggestions regarding some of the items appearing on the agenda of the 53rd Directing Council of PAHO/66th Meeting of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Americas. The commentary was developed, through a process of consultation at national and regional levels.
We invite the delegates of member states to review the commentary and hope that it will further inform work in these areas.
Please take time to comment on the Commentary
" Why then are we confronted with an Ebola epidemic in West Africa?
The answer lies not in the pathology of the disease but in the pathology of our society and the global political and economic architecture. It is not an accident that the present Ebola epidemic has affected three of the poorest countries in the world. Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone number 175, 179 and 183, respectively, out of 187 countries on the United Nation’s Human Development Index. Their health systems are ineffective and almost non-existent in many regions. The present epidemic is one brought upon by poverty and by ruthless exploitation of the region’s natural resources."
"A longer-term solution requires fundamental changes to economic and power relations between these countries (and indeed many others with similar histories) and the capitalist economies and enterprises that continue to bleed them dry, often with the collusion of local officials and elites."