Intended for healthcare professionals


The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and UK healthcare

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 04 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6552
  1. John Hilary, executive director
  1. 1War on Want, London N1 7JP, UK
  1. jhilary{at}

Designed to meet the interests of corporations rather than patients, and imperative that it’s stopped in its tracks

The threat to public health posed by agreements on trade liberalisation has been a topic of policy interest for many years. The outgoing UN special rapporteur for health, Anand Grover, devoted much of his final report to the UN General Assembly this autumn to highlighting how trade and investment treaties have consistently undermined the right to health.1 Yet it is only now, in the context of EU-US negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), that the health implications of free trade agreements have become a front line political concern in the UK.

The first round of TTIP negotiations took place in July 2013. The intention remains to conclude the deal by the end of 2015, before the next US presidential election campaign begins in earnest. The talks take place in secret, with no public access to the key negotiating documents, so that almost everything we know of their content comes through leaks. The most recent round of negotiations was held at the end of September, and the serious …

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