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date: 20 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The protection of public health is, traditionally, a responsibility of the State. Health measures embrace a variety of concerns. This article describes a complex of initiatives undertaken by World Trade Organization (WTO) Members, including the operation of health delivery systems, insurance schemes, and pharmaceutical controls. The TRIPS Agreement has also raised significant concerns about its potential effects on the pursuit of autonomous national health policies. This article discusses in detail the SPS Agreement, which imposes new requirements on WTO Members with respect to SPS measures that are distinct from the familiar requirements of the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) 1994. For those health measures that fall outside of the scope of the SPS Agreement, the GATT 1994 principles on non-discrimination and import restrictions continue to apply.

Keywords: public health, health delivery systems, health policies, pharmaceutical controls, SPS Agreement

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