Geneva, 17 May 2019 – In a joint declaration published today, the Health Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, gathered in Paris on 16-17 May, highlighted the importance of improving access to safe, effective, quality, affordable and essential health products and supported the expansion of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to essential medicines.
In 2018, at the request of the international community, the MPP expanded its mandate beyond treatment for HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis to other essential medicines. Last week, the MPP published its new framework for prioritising target medicines for in-licensing under its expanded mandate.
“In 2011, the G8 had welcomed the establishment of the Unitaid-funded Patent Pool to facilitate the production of affordable HIV medicines well-adapted for use in resource-poor settings, encouraging the voluntary participation of patent holders” said Charles Gore, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool. “The renewed support from the G7 Health Ministers comes at a critical time, days before the opening of the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly where attention will focus on a new WHO Road Map for Access”.
In their declaration, the G7 Health Ministers drew attention to the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ call for universal health coverage (UHC) and highlighted the importance of strengthening primary healthcare for achieving UHC.
Access the G7 Declaration “For an inclusive, evidence-based and sustainable G7 action in global health”
G7 mention of the MPP: “We support the engagement of all relevant international organizations, such as WHO, and initiatives, including the recent expansion of the Medicines Patent Pool, in their work to improve access for all to safe, effective, quality, affordable and essential health products.”
About the Medicines Patent Pool:
The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, the MPP partners with civil society, governments, international organisations, industry, patient groups and other stakeholders, to prioritise and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with nine patent holders for thirteen HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, three hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals and a tuberculosis treatment. The MPP was founded by Unitaid, which serves as sole funder for the MPP’s activities in HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis. The MPP is now expanding its activities to cover Essential Medicines, which requires engagement with many new stakeholders, including potential funders.