The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a public health organization funded by Unitaid, has played a significant role in facilitating affordable access to essential medicines in the field of HIV and HCV through its public health oriented licences with originator companies. To date, the MPP has licences on 14 medicines on the WHO EML. Licensing through the MPP of patented essential medicines for the treatment of tuberculosis (e.g. bedaquiline) would also be a welcome contribution to improving access. The recent expansion of the MPP to other patented essential medicines beyond HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis represents a real opportunity to facilitate affordable access to some of the new medicines that have been added to the list this year in low and middle-income countries. Licensing through the MPP could, for example, contribute to facilitating access to some of the cancer medicines, the novel oral anticoagulants, the new antibiotics and the heat-stable formulation of carbetocin. In the case of cancer, it would be important that the MPP also explore the application of its model to biotherapeutics so as to facilitate early entry of biosimilars through voluntary licensing agreements in low and middle-income countries.
22nd WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines