Previous research has shown that many governments have accepted the regressive nature of drug tariffs and have taken steps to reduce them since the mid-1990s. However, many of them continue to impose tariffs, even though the global average level of tariffs has fallen overall in recent years. 3, 4 The need to reduce tariffs on medicines has become particularly urgent in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic, especially as new preventive treatments and vaccines need to be widely available worldwide. The EU is indifferent to the demands of developing countries at the informal TRIPS Council on 19 July. June to improve flexibility to ensure that the TRIPS agreement does not impose barriers to the use of vaccines and therapeutic products, but argued that import duties on pharmaceuticals and medical products proportionately affect the poor and sick more than the rich or healthy. Second, the formation of cartels may restrict competition horizontally. In several OECD countries, it has been found that pharmacists` associations have coordinated prices or restricted access to the profession. In some cases, associations have restricted the ability of individual pharmacists to deal individually with third-party payers, thereby establishing control over potential defectors and stabilizing agreements. Our analysis shows that tariffs on pharmaceuticals have fallen worldwide since 2001. While the average global drug price (HS3004) was 4.9% in 2001, the latest available data (2018) show a decrease to 3.4% (Figure 1). This is lower than the recent average applied tariff on all non-agricultural products of 7.6%.
5 While tariff reductions are beneficial in promoting access to all medicines, they are particularly relevant for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 is a newly identified disease and there is no approved treatment or vaccine yet. Innovation will therefore be crucial for a long-term solution to the crisis – not only in the invention of new treatments and vaccines, but also in their mass production and rapid distribution worldwide. International trade will therefore be crucial as new treatments and vaccines become available. Trade is crucial because very few countries are self-sufficient in the production of medicines and vaccines, with the EU, for example, getting 32% of its Covid-19-related imports from outside its borders. This figure is much higher for the majority of developing countries. New Covid-19 treatments and vaccines are likely to be complex and rely on globally distributed supply chains to manufacture them. In both cases, tariffs will drive up the prices of new Covid-19 therapies, especially for developing countries that can least afford them.
Meanwhile, many governments are imposing tariffs on non-pharmaceutical medical care, which is essential to fight Covid-19. Structural changes were evident in general trade in health products between 1995 and 2010. Many countries have recorded trade surpluses, indicating growth and diversity in production capacity, with targeted surpluses in export markets. A number of countries (e.g. B, Costa Rica, Ireland and Singapore) have prioritized the pharmaceutical and medical sectors in national development strategies. Strong growth in health-related products and strong global demand mean that development strategies targeting the production and trade of health-related products offer developing countries promising avenues for economic growth and diversification. China has become a major exporter, exporting $27.8 billion worth of health-related products in 2010, ten times its 1995 exports. . .