Tackling the Global NCD Crisis: Innovations in Law and Governance

14 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2013

See all articles by Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

35 million people die annually of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), 80% of them in low- and middle-income countries - representing a marked epidemiological transition from infectious to chronic diseases and from richer to poorer countries. The total number of NCDs is projected to rise by 17% over the coming decade, absent significant interventions. The NCD epidemic poses unique governance challenges: the causes are multifactorial, the affected populations diffuse, and effective responses require sustained multi-sectorial cooperation. The authors propose a range of regulatory options available at the domestic level, including stricter food labeling laws, regulation of food advertisements, tax incentives for healthy lifestyle choices, changes to the built environment, and direct regulation of food and drink producers. Given the realities of globalization, such interventions require global cooperation. In 2011, the UN General Assembly held a High-level meeting on NCDs, setting a global target of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 2025. Yet concrete plans and resource commitments for reaching this goal are not yet in the offing, and the window is rapidly closing for achieving these targets through prevention - as opposed to treatment, which is more costly. Innovative global governance for health is urgently needed to engage private industry and civil society in the global response to the NCD crisis.

Keywords: global health, non-communicable diseases, governance strategies

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Bryan and Gostin, Lawrence O., Tackling the Global NCD Crisis: Innovations in Law and Governance (2013). Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 41, pp. 16-27, 2013, Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 13-030, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2254944

Bryan Thomas (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9038 (Phone)
202-662-9055 (Fax)

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