Public health, innovation, intellectual property and trade

Trade and Health: Towards building a National Strategy

Publication details

Editors: Smith, Richard. Blouin, Chantal. Mirza, Zafar. Beyer, Peter. Drager, Nick.
Number of pages: 149
Publication date: August 2015
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 156503 5


Globalization and the rise of international trade of goods and services in terms of volume and speed influence human health. This influence can be both positive and negative. Our work on “trade and health” is all about harnessing and maximizing opportunities to promote public health and minimizing the risks and threats.

WHO and its Member States are very conscious of these opportunities and challenges. In 2006 the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution (WHA 59.26) on international trade and health and urged Member States to take advantage of the potential opportunities, and address the potential challenges, that trade and trade agreements may have for health. There are a number of additional WHO resolutions and decisions that involve the international trade and health interface. These deal with subjects such as tobacco control, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, intellectual property, international migration of health personnel, medical tourism as well as nutrition and alcohol policies. WHO’s work on international health regulations (IHR), which addresses health and trade issues, epitomizes the significance that we attach to helping the international community to prevent and respond to acute public health risks that have the potential to cross borders and threaten people worldwide.