Medicines Patent Pool

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Event/initiative: 
Date of commitment: 
July 2010
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Commitment

The Medicines Patent Pool aims to improve access to affordable and appropriate HIV medicines in developing countries through voluntary licensing of critical intellectual property which increases generic competition and drives down prices.

Target

No numerical targets were set.

Progress

The MPP licensed to three generics manufacturers in 2012: Hetero Pharmaceuticals, Emcure Pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer Laurus Labs for the production of medicines licensed to the MPP by Gilead Sciences in 2011, bringing the total number of sub-licensees by end 2012 to five. Sub-licensees are already beginning to manufacture medicines for low- and middle-income countries. Hetero Pharmaceuticals alone produces ARV medicines for over 2 million people living with HIV in over 100 countries. The licences should help speed the supply of needed medicines in even more countries. A key provision in the Gilead licences allows MPP sub-licensees to make and sell one key HIV medicine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), in a wider range of countries than they would otherwise have been able to. At least 20 new countries have been so far able to buy generic TDF from MPP sub-licensees. In 2012, the MPP added data for 11 additional countries to the database—Albania, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro and Turkey— bringing the total number of countries covered to 78. The MPP also added data for a new fixed-dose combination—bringing the total number of patents covered to 71 patents for 25 HIV medicines. In 2013, the Pool signed an additional non-exclusive licensing agreement on a paediatric HIV medicine (abacavir) with a very wide geographical coverage. Under the agreement, the Pool can license the product to generic suppliers for a total of 118 countries representing 98.7 per cent of children living with HIV.

Gap

Additional patents for key antiretroviral drugs are needed from pharmaceutical companies.

Additionality

The Medicines Patent Pool was established with the support of UNITAID