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The health and trade debate : insight from the traditional Chinese medicine

English Abstract

A variety of international organizations have contributed to improving global public health by addressing the related legalities. This has led to the fragmentation of international laws due to inconsistent health and legal definitions. Consequently, the regulation of health issues appears to have become widely disentangled from the regulation of political, social, or cultural issues. International legal regimes that govern public health initially operated conceptually in isolation from each other, but potentially with varying degrees of substantive overlaps, gaps, or conflicts in practice. From this perspective, the problem of the interaction of international legal regimes, in the context of a global health governance framework, can be exemplified by other problems that arise out of inadequate levels of coordination among them. From a business perspective, however, a rapid change has occurred, It appears that every industry, including the medical industry, is undergoing convergence due to the advent of technology. Given that the law always lags behind technology, new products created by convergence technologies (such as nutriceutics, cosmeceutics and genetics diagnostics, to mention but a few) have posted further challenges to the existing fragmented and inconsistent international health legal regimes. Hence, it is now necessary to determine an alternative regulatory approach to address the anticipated problems at the regulatory level in terms of the future governance of global health. To do so, one of the recommendations is that the WHO should put more precedence on the global governance of health and put into place more normative and hard norms while increasing its impact and influence. Moreover, the WHO should take into consideration the notions of the creative economy and the creative industries at the macro- and microeconomic levels as possible regulation paradigms for global health. Other recommendations include addressing the many issues that impede the realization of a global governance framework for health with an all-round approach that takes into consideration “inter-regime regulatory co-opetition” under the context of the creative economy. This would not only involve processes that entail both regulatory cooperation and competition but also consider the different international legal regimes, and guided by national and international governments and non-governmental organizations.

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Zhuo, Jing


Faculty of Law




Public health laws

Foreign trade regulation

Medicine, Chinese


Neuwirth Rostam J.

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