Date of Submission
Economics; Global and International Studies
Project Advisor 1
Public health nowadays is no longer a right guaranteed by the state but rather a commodity whose distribution is determined by international financial institutions. Developing countries are thus no longer in control of setting their own health goals and instead have to prescribe to the neoliberal paradigm imposed by the Global North. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) control public health outcomes in countries found in financial distress through structural adjustment programs which demand measures of austerity and rapid privatization of public services. Although they argue that through the loans they provide, the seek to generate economic growth and increase people’s prosperity, my analysis focuses on the limitations of SAPs and the ways in which it increases health risks. Furthermore, I address the role of the World Trade Organization, another global institution which has established a new intellectual property (IP) regime under the adoption of TRIPS agreements according to which all WTO member countries have to make patents available for any invention. I argue that patents on drugs raise several major concerns among which: high prices for drugs, delayed market entry for generic medicines, reduced competition, and lack of funding for neglected diseases. Lastly, I talk about two alternative initiatives to the health care model imposed by SAPs: in Mexico City and Mission Barrio Adentro in Venezuela.
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Gusac, Nicoleta, "Health Deterioration through Globalization: An Exploration of TRIPS and Structural Adjustment Programs in the Developing World" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 68.
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