Once a drug has been developed, one of the main determinants of access is affordability, such as the final price paid by the consumer. Producer prices are an important factor in determining this final price and competition between different manufacturers has had a positive impact on affordability and access to medicines. Free trade agreements often contain preferential treatment provisions between the states that are signatories to the agreement. This may involve the reduction or removal of import duties, which in turn will lead to more favourable market access than the multilateral obligation of commitment and commitment (WTO). This section of the study only takes into account the tariffs applied in the absence of such preferential transactions, i.e. on the basis of the most favoured nation (MFN). The difference can be very significant for least developed and developing countries: for example, syringes can be imported duty-free from a country with preferential market access, but they can be subject to a 16% tariff if imported by other WTO members. As a result, purchases of health products are partner-focused in free trade agreements. A comparison between preferential and non-preferential rates shows that preferential tariffs for the three product categories (A, B and C) in Brazil, China, Mexico, India, South Africa and Turkey were lower than the WTO MFN rate between 2005 and 2009 (by at least 0.4%). As a result, the gap between preferential treatment and MFN treatment has widened, with the lowest rates being drug (A) and the highest rates for medical devices (C). The agreement on the elimination of tariffs on medicines was concluded by 22 countries (1) during Uruguay`s trade cycle and came into force on 1 January 1995. It has meant the abolition of tariffs on thousands of pharmaceutical companies and implies the obligation not to replace customs barriers with non-tariff barriers and even extends to products imported from states that have not signed the agreement. All finished pharmaceuticals (2) are automatically covered by the agreement, but active substances and intermediate products (used in the manufacture of finished medicines) are not automatically eligible for zero tariffs and must be formally included on the list of authorized products.
During the Uruguay Round WTO negotiations, the United States and several other major trading partners agreed on the reciprocal removal of tariffs, a “zero to zero” initiative for pharmaceuticals and chemical intermediates used in drug manufacturing. Governments sometimes apply specific preferential tariff regimes for certain strategic products, such as. B than the removal of import duties on medicines or health products, in order to improve access.