MPP statement at the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly on 27 May 2019. Agenda item 11.7, document A72/17 (Access to medicines and vaccines)
Speaker: Liudmyla Maistat
The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) welcomes the WHO Road Map for Access to medicines, vaccines and other health products.
We note that one of the deliverables which is anticipated to have significant impact on fostering innovation and access to health products is the promotion of public health-oriented licensing agreements and transparency regarding patent status of existing and new health technologies.
We agree that for licensing to become an effective vehicle for access, it must closely align with public health principles and be a part of a broader public health approach to improving access to safe, effective and affordable essential medicines. Over the past nine years, the MPP is proud to have become a key driver of public health-oriented and transparent licensing agreements for improved access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries. Over 100 countries have already benefitted from access to new HIV and hepatitis C treatments at affordable prices and in suitable formulations.
In support of the Roadmap’s deliverable on transparency of patent status of essential medicines, MedsPaL, our Patents & Licenses database, provides free patent, licensing and regulatory data exclusivity information on WHO essential medicines in LMICs. This has been possible thanks to close collaboration with national and regional patent offices who provide this data to us on a regular basis. In particular, we would like to thank the national patent offices of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay and the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO), European Patent Office (EPO). We would like to invite other member states to join this important initiative to implement this deliverable.
Finally, we welcome the deliverable supporting the expansion of the MPP to other patented essential medicines included in WHO treatment guidelines through identification of potential products for licensing. Following strong support from Member States at the 71st WHA, the MPP issued last week a framework to identify candidate products for licensing, working closely with the WHO and in consultation with other stakeholders. Further collaboration with all stakeholders will be extremely important. We would therefore like to invite the Member States who are in the room to engage with us in the course of this week and in the coming months to better understand access gaps in your countries and work together to extend our public health-oriented licensing approach to products of critical public health need in your countries.
We look forward to collaboration with the Secretariat and the Member States on implementation of the Road Map.