This series of commentaries and papers, published by The Lancet, examines the challenges to achieving a balance between trade and health.

It includes analyses of the WHO and World Trade Organisation (WTO), arguing that they facilitate trade before the health of poor people. Other authors explore issues such as global trade governance, intellectual property rights on life-saving drugs, and how trade practices adversely affect diet and exploit workers.

Richard Smith, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues outline an agenda for action to strengthen the evidence on trade and health links, build capacity within health on trade issues and assert health goals in trade policy. They make specific recommendations for the WHO and WTO, donors, governments, nongovernment organisations and academics.