239178 Lessons from SARS and H1N1/A: Employing a WHO-WTO forum to ensure balance in economic and public health actions in emergency response

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:50 AM

Timothy Mackey, MAS , School of Public Health (SDSU), Institute of Health Law Studies (Cal Western School of Law), San Diego State University-University of California, San Diego and Institute of Health Law Studies, Cal Western School of Law, San Diego, CA
Bryan Liang, MD, JD, PhD , School of Medicine (UCSD), Institute of Health Law Studies (Cal Western School of Law), University of California, San Diego, California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA
With the globalization of diseases through movement of people and trade worldwide, health and economic threats of disease outbreaks have been recognized as a major issue in global public health. The first challenge in this new paradigm was the SARS outbreak in 2003, which exposed weaknesses of the global health governance framework in addressing balances of protecting often competing interests of public health and trade. The revised International Health Regulations of 2005 attempted to address these issues, and were tested during the H1N1/A outbreak of 2009 with mixed results. Though improvements have occurred, challenges remain in providing a coordinated forum to address economic and trade reactions to public health concerns of countries that suffer from disease outbreaks. International legal frameworks which aim to promote global disease surveillance systems and international cooperation during disease outbreaks have not provided the appropriate incentives for individual state actors to adhere to future reporting requirements due to fear of economic harm. By instituting a joint WHO-WTO committee to adjudicate these conflicts, these concerns can be addressed. Failure to resolve this problem leads to potential disincentives in surveillance reporting, a crucial component of compliance under IHR, and hampering the prevention of the next global pandemic.

Learning Areas:
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify current challenges in balancing the needs of public health and economic concerns ins disease outbreaks Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of current global health governance framework pertaining to disease surveillance and trade/economic dispute adjudication. Formulate a policy proposal implementing a joint WHO-WTO committee to address these challenges for future global disease outbreaks

Keywords: Health Law, Economic Sanctions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I along with my co-author conducted the research and analysis and I am a doctoral graduate student with research experience and previous publications on health law policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.