Geneva – The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve access to affordable and high-quality diabetes medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The agreement, which aims to improve the lives of many of the more than 460 million people currently living with diabetes and those at high risk, aligns the two organisations on several fronts. These include identifying diabetes medicines where MPP’s proven model of public health-oriented voluntary licensing could facilitate affordable access in LMICs, and understanding the needs and barriers to access in these countries.

“Diabetes is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that affects nearly half a billion people around the world, of whom 79% live in low- and middle-income countries,” said MPP’s Executive Director Charles Gore. “We look forward to working with IDF to facilitate access to patented life-saving diabetes medicines in LMICs.”

“Regular and affordable access to essential diabetes medicines remains a major problem in many parts of the world. Nearly 100 years after its first use to treat a person with diabetes, insulin remains beyond the reach of many who need it to survive. But it is not only an issue of access to insulin, many other patented medicines that help prevent and treat diabetes and its complications are not getting into the hands of those who need them,” said IDF President Professor Andrew Boulton. “MPP’s work holds great promise in overcoming some of the barriers to treatment. Our partnership has the potential to bring hope to millions of people with diabetes.”

The MoU represents an important step in MPP’s work in the non-communicable disease area. In 2018, MPP conducted a feasibility study funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), which included a series of illustrative case studies on access to essential medicines in the fields of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The study highlighted the expected public health value of providing generic access to patented products on WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines and those that have a strong potential for future inclusion. MPP’s remit now covers patented medicines in these new disease areas.


About the International Diabetes Federation:

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organisation of over 230 national diabetes associations in more than 160 countries and territories. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk and has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950. IDF is a diverse and inclusive multi-cultural network of national diabetes associations and an authoritative global voice in non-communicable diseases. IDF is associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations and is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information, visit


Media enquiries:

Priyamvada Chugh

Communications Manager, Medicines Patent Pool

Lorenzo Piemonte

Communications Manager, International Diabetes Federation