165497 Impact of CAFTA on women's access to medicines in Guatemala

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 1:15 PM

Ellen R. Shaffer, PhD MPH , Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health, San Francisco, CA
Joseph Brenner, MA , CPATH, San Francisco, CA
Problem: The US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) was negotiated between the U.S. and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic in 2006. The U.S. Congress and 4 of the Central American countries have ratified CAFTA, amidst controversial debate about its merits. Several organizations have predicted that CAFTA would have harmful effects on access to essential medicines in Central American countries. As with the North American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA may have a disproportionately negative impact on the health and human right of women. Women are more likely to depend on public sector programs for health care and drug coverage, rather than employment-based benefits, compared with men. Public programs will face overall resource reductions as drug prices rise. Women are likely to bear increased burdens under CAFTA as affordable generic medicines become less available. A trade and gender impact assessment of CAFTA on access to life-saving medicines in Guatemala has explored the impact of CAFTA on the health and human rights of women abd families.

Research question: How do changes in Guatemalan laws due to CAFTA affect the human rights of women and families in Guatemala to health and well-being, including access to affordable life-saving medicines?

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to discuss: How trade rules in the Central America Free Trade Sgreement limit access to affordable medicines in Guatemala. Campaigns that discourage the use of generic drugs. The impact on public health budgets of expenditures on brand name drugs.

Keywords: Medicine, Women's Health

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.