1st World Conference on Access to Medical Products and International Laws for Trade and Health in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Final report, 21-23 November 2017, New Delhi, India.
(2017; 140 pages)


The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, Indian Society of International Law (ISIL) with the support of WHO organized the “1st World Conference on Access to Medical Products and International Laws for Trade and Health in the Context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The conference was a sequel to the side event on the subject hosted on 24 May 2017 of the 70th World Health Assembly.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the first ever comprehensive globally agreed development plan for our entire planet. They are the world’s to-do list for a fairer, safer and healthier world by 2030. The health goals in the SDGs build on the unfinished business of the MDG era (such as on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria) and adds new targets, such as non-communicable diseases, universal health coverage. Trade and globalization have contributed to international and national movement in medical, food and health products across boundaries resulting in new challenges in the public health spectrum.

The United Nations (UN) High Level Report on access to medicines is proposed to be discussed in a special session in the UN 2018. The Conference in New Delhi enabled deeper discussions for development of a holistic view on access to medicines (including all medical products: medicines, vaccines, devices, and diagnostics).

The present overarching ambit of the SDG agenda and the significant role of international engagements particularly trade and contemporary political developments in national countries make it imperative to engage for tangible solutions. Of the 17 SDGs, Good health and well-being finds direct mention in Goal 3. The latter however, is a prerequisite for almost all other SDG goals. Universal health coverage and the interlinked agenda of access to medicines, is also one of the regional flagship priorities in the WHO South East Asia Region.

The following three thematic areas were covered:

A. Access to Medical Products- the sub themes were:

  1. Access to Medical products
  2. Recommendations of the UN High Level Report on access to medicines
  3. Regulatory dimensions to address access for quality, efficacious, safe and affordable medical products including cancer, hepatitis C, etc.
  4. Use of Internet and Information Technology for accessing medical and health products (including online pharmacies)

B. Innovation and Research & Development for moving towards SDGs- the sub themes were:

  1. Role of Innovation and R&D for Access to medical products, Competition law for Access to Medicines and health products, Bio-technological products, Patents as a tool of innovation
  2. Access to Medical products (new/innovative Medical/ health products/ disease and dosage regimens), Infectious disease control (New initiatives for R&D (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) for development of vaccines for infections of epidemic potential
  3. New technologies providing innovative solutions for healthcare, fostering local production

C. Intellectual Property Rights and Trade for SDGs in the context of Access to Medical Products- the sub themes were:

  1. International legal framework for access to medicines in the context of R&D and innovation – TRIPS, patent law, competition laws, Right to Health etc.
  2. Patent and Trademarks in standard setting in medical products
  3. Health-related provisions in Free Trade Agreements and Regional Trade Agreements in the context of medical products
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