Trade and Public Health: The Stimulation of Healthcare Technology Advances and Innovation for Neglected Tropical Diseases

By Ms. IM Chanbormey.

Abstract: Neglected Tropical Diseases (“NTDs”) preponderantly affect inhabitants of tropical and subtropical regions, prompting morbidity and mortality, and are considered as overlooked, yet they actually have been fathomed thus far as indicated by the history and particularly the remarkable cooperation between international organizations albeit not being resolved forthwith. The deficiency of motivation to conduct researches on healthcare technologies for NTDs treatment is mainly occasioned by the intricate interrelation between trade and health, the severity of such diseases, and the inability to make payment. Disappointingly, the COVID-19 outbreak tends to exacerbate the case of NTDs as diverting the attention of the global community to a certain extent, thereby provoking the suspension and slow progress of the development of pertaining medical technologies. The catalysts for healthcare technology advances and innovation for NTDs comprise, inter alia, delinking approach, product development partnerships, patent pools, open-source drug discovery and development, capacity building in trade and health, tariff reduction of health-related products, the incorporation of health provisions into the WTO Agreements, patent system, compulsory licensing, procurement rules, and competition law/policy. Nonetheless, the commitments having been affirmed by the global community heretofore conspicuously denoted the prospect of the progress towards the elimination and impact mitigation of NTDs, corresponding joint activities of which are kept on track whilst the vulnerable domiciled in those zones can be on the mend. Optimistically, the pathway to achieve UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being) would not be encumbered, affording the people decent standard of living. A new question arising is whether the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be included in the list of NTDs in the future if it cannot be fully eliminated in a short term. Despite the existing mechanisms, exploring new solutions to the promotion of healthcare technology advances and innovation for such diseases is highly encouraged.

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To cite this article: IM Chanbormey, Trade and Public Health: The Stimulation of Healthcare Technology Advances and Innovation for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sala Traju Law Bulletin, Phnom Penh, Issue 2 January 2022.