Thailand and the United States began negotiating a free trade agreement in 2004. Although negotiations are now stalled, the latest version of the FTA would restrict Thailand's ability to produce or import generic AIDS drugs. Jiraporn Limpananont, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, argues that these restrictions could have a significant impact on Thailand's national HIV/AIDS treatment program.
The discussion, moderated by Kimberly Elliott, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development and Institute for International Economics, focused on the tradeoffs between the potential economic benefits of FTAs and access to medicines. Mead Over, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development and author of The Economics of Effective AIDS Treatment: Evaluating Policy Options for Thailand, and Michael Ryan, Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School served as discussants.