Toward a Treaty on Safety and Cost-Effectiveness of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices: Enhancing an Endangered Global Public Good
Globalization and Health, Vol. 2, No. 5, pp. 1-9, 2006
9 Pages Posted: 11 May 2009
Date Written: March 28, 2006
Expert evaluations of the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical and medical devices, prior to marketing approval or reimbursement listing, collectively represent a globally important public good. The scientific processes involved play a major role in protecting the public from product risks such as unintended or adverse events, sub-standard production and unnecessary burdens on individual and governmental healthcare budgets.
Most States now have an increasing policy interest in this area, though institutional arrangements, particularly in the area of cost-effectiveness analysis of medical devices, are not uniformly advanced and are fragile in the face of opposing multinational industry pressure to recoup investment and maintain profit margins.
This paper examines the possibility, in this context, of States commencing negotiations toward bilateral trade agreement provisions, and ultimately perhaps a multilateral Treaty, on safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness analysis of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Such obligations may robustly facilitate a conceptually interlinked, but endangered, global public good, without compromising the capacity of intellectual property laws to facilitate local product innovations.
Keywords: Pharmaceuticals, Cost-Effectiveness, Regulation, Essential Medicines
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