Geneva – Marking World Heart Day (29 September), the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work closely in furthering the shared goal of promoting wide availability of quality, safe, effective & affordable essential medicines for better cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) kill nearly 18 million people every year, and over three quarters of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Although most of the essential medicines are now available as generics, high costs of newer and patented medicines are one of the key factors that limit access to medicines for treatment and prevention of heart disease. This partnership, with the WHF bringing its network of more than 200 heart foundations, scientific societies, civil society and patient organisations from over 100 countries and MPP applying its 10 years of experience and expertise in voluntary licensing, could be a game-changer in access to the most innovative CVD medicines in LMICs.

In 2019, following MPP’s achievements in HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis, MPP expanded its remit to other disease areas including CVDs and developed illustrative case studies including one on the possible impact of licensing novel oral anticoagulants, which have been included in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines in 2019.

“The agreement signed today lays a strong foundation for MPP’s work in licensing medicines in the cardiovascular disease space,” said Charles Gore, Executive Director, MPP. “We are very excited to team up efforts with the World Heart Federation and look forward to bring our expertise to this space to allow rapid, affordable access to those in need.”

“WHF’s roadmap identifies access to medicines for circulatory health as one of the key tools towards prevention and treatment of CVDs,” said Jean-Luc Eiselé, Chief Executive Officer, World Heart Federation. “And joining forces with MPP will help us achieve just that”.

Through the newly signed agreement, the organisations will work shoulder to shoulder on several fronts to uncover access barriers and opportunities. These efforts will encourage the extension of affordable, quality-assured generic medicines to larger population groups, especially in low- and middle-income countries where a great need exists to address the growing cardiovascular disease burden.

About the World Heart Federation:

The World Heart Federation (WHF) unites more than 200 patient, medical and scientific groups from over 100 countries. WHF connects the cardiovascular community, translates science into policy and promotes the exchange of information and knowledge to achieve heart health for everyone. Our advocacy and convening roles help us empower our members to prevent and control cardiovascular disease. We are the only global cardiovascular group in an official relationship with the World Health Organization and we are working hard to reach SDG 3.4 goal to reduce by 1/3 the deaths from Non-Communicable Diseases by 2030.