CGD in the News

'Tax for TRIPS' deal altered UN declarations on NCDs, TB (Devex)

October 22, 2018

By Amruta Byatnal 

From the article:  

Last week, a crucial high-level political declaration on tuberculosis passed at the United Nations General Assembly secured a partial victory for advocates of affordable medicines. At the same time, a high-level declaration on noncommunicable diseases also passed at UNGA was criticized for lacking teeth.

Now, delegates have told Devex that a diplomatic trade-off on tax and intellectual property rights between the United States and countries of the G-77 group impacted the outcomes. 


U.S. opposition to sugar and tobacco taxes is not new. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization’s Independent High-level Commission on NCDs, which included Eric Hargan, U.S. deputy secretary of health and human services, also failed to mention taxes following U.S. resistance.

“Industry has been selling this idea of doubt on evidence [that taxes work] for decades, putting the burden of proof on the public health side,” said Bill Savedoff, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

Read the full article here