153791 Trade agreements threaten states' rights to control drug costs

Monday, November 5, 2007: 2:30 PM

Michael Palmedo , Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC
Rising pharmaceutical prices have burdened all buyers of drugs, including individuals, states and businesses, and state governments have been on the cutting edge of cost management. State programs that facilitate importation of medicines from Canada and other countries, establish preferred drug lists to facilitate price negotiation, and otherwise use their regulatory and purchasing power for medicines have reaped huge savings. Unfortunately, certain Free Trade Agreements contain anti-health provisions which call for the abandonment of such programs. This paper examines the language in Free Trade Agreements that threatens state cost-containment programs. It then shows how trade agreements entered into by the federal government can affect the working of local-level programs administered under state law. Finally, it lists actions taken by health advocates to address the trade threat, and outlines possible future courses of action.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify state cost-saving measures for purchasing pharmaceuticals that run afoul of free trade agreements. 2. Analyze the legal relationship between federal trade agreements and state-run health programs 3. List political actions that health advocates can take to ensure the continuance of state efforts to control drug costs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.