As the World Health Organization (WHO) releases its guidelines Update of recommendations on first- and second-line antiretroviral regimens, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) confirms that high-quality affordable versions of key HIV treatments can already be rolled out in developing countries through MPP generic manufacturing partners and other stakeholders.
The MPP holds licences for dolutegravir (DTG), part of the WHO preferred first- and second-line treatments, which allow generic manufacturers to develop and supply DTG containing regimens to people living with HIV in 94 low- and middle-income countries (adult use) and 121 countries (paediatric use). Seven MPP manufacturing partners have already supplied DTG and DTG-based regimens in 66 countries.
The MPP also holds licences for lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r), the recommended preferred second-line treatment when DTG-based regimens have failed; tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), part of WHO-recommended regimens as alternative in children and in special circumstances in adults; and raltegravir (RAL), preferred option in the WHO-recommended first-line regimen for infants for whom approved DTG dosing is not available and an alternative option in children. Other ARVs recommended in the guidelines, like tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), atazanavir (ATV) and abacavir (ABC) had benefited from MPP licences that facilitated generic market entry in many countries, although the main patents on these medicines have now expired.
“The MPP licences and the work of our generic manufacturing partners can support governments in implementing the transition to new ARV regimens recommended by WHO. The recommended first-line TLD, for instance, is already available from six manufacturers who can supply in a large number of developing countries at affordable prices,” said Charles Gore, Executive Director of the MPP.
About the MPP
The Medicines Patent Pool 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 licence 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.
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