A Medical Device Daily
Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed; Washington) President and CEO Stephen Ubl said the World Trade Organization 's (WTO; Geneva, Switzerland) proposal to eliminate tariffs imposed on the trade of medicines and medical devices “is the most effective means to improve global health standards.“
The joint proposal by U.S., Singapore and Switzerland calls for eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade as part of the WTO's non-agriculture market access agenda.
AdvaMed noted that some medical devices are subject to tariffs in the 10% to 15% range and can be as high as 30%. The organization said tariffs pose “a significant barrier to the adoption and use of these lifesaving and life-enriching technologies.“
According to statistics gathered by the United Nations, $23 billion in medical technology and almost $33 billion in pharmaceuticals trade is subject to import tariffs, predominantly by developing countries.
AdvaMed said recent studies by the World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland) and the AEI-Brookings Joint Center “confirm the need for countries grappling with severe public health crisis to remove import tariffs on medicines and medical devices.“
In a statement, Ubl said, “The WTO proposal will help ensure that patients worldwide, especially those who live in developing countries and have the greatest need for medical care, will have access to critical medicines and medical technologies.“
He noted that AdvaMed has supported policies that facilitate trade for medical technologies dating back to the previous Uruguay round of negotiations.