Medical technologies – medicines, vaccines and medical devices – are essential for public health. Access to essential medicines and the lack of research to address neglected diseases have been a major concern for many years. To promote innovation and to ensure equitable access to all vital medical technologies, policy-makers need a clear understanding of the innovation processes that lead to new technologies and of the ways in which these technologies are disseminated in health systems. This study seeks to reinforce the understanding of the interplay between the distinct policy domains of health, trade and intellectual property, and of how they affect medical innovation and access to medical technologies.
The second edition comprehensively reviews the existing material and captures new developments in key areas since the initial launch of the study in 2013. Among the new topics covered by the study are antimicrobial resistance and cutting-edge health technologies. The second edition provides updated data on health, innovation trends in the pharmaceutical sector, and trade and tariffs. It includes an updated overview of access to medical technologies globally and key provisions in free trade agreements, and takes account of developments in IP legislation and jurisprudence.
A collaborative effort by WHO, WIPO and WTO, this study draws together the three Secretariats’ respective areas of expertise. It is intended to inform ongoing technical cooperation activities undertaken by the three organizations and to support policy discussions.
Based on many years of field experience in technical cooperation, the study has been prepared to serve the needs of policy-makers who seek a comprehensive presentation of the full range of issues, as well as lawmakers, government officials, delegates to international organizations, non-governmental organizations and researchers.
For the time being, the second edition of the study is available in English only.
The first edition of the study is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.