Geneva, 10 July 2019 – This week the World Health Organization (WHO) released its newly updated 21st WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and 7th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for children (EMLc), in which key treatments and combinations licensed to the MPP have now been included, namely hepatitis C treatment glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (G/P), antiretroviral regimen tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/lamivudine/dolutegravir (TLD) and HIV medicine dolutegravir 50mg for children above 25kg.

“Putting an end to the hepatitis epidemic remains a huge challenge in developing countries so we are very pleased that G/P has been added to the WHO’s Essential Medicines Lists,” said Charles Gore, Executive Director of MPP. “This all-oral, once-daily, pan-genotypic combination regimen is an important new option for people living with chronic hepatitis C.”

“We want people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries to have access to the best possible treatment at the same time as patients in high-income countries, or even earlier. The once-daily combination regimen TLD is revolutionary, providing a high barrier to resistance with limited side effects and sustained adherence for the life-long treatment of HIV. As the development of TLD was facilitated by the MPP, we are delighted that it is included in the EML,” said Charles Gore.

Other key patented medicines for treating cancer and cardiovascular diseases, for reproductive health, and new antibiotics have also been added to the lists. As the MPP mandate has expanded toward diseases beyond HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis, the MPP will explore, with patent holders, opportunities to accelerate access to these products in low- and middle-income countries through its public health licensing model.

Updated every two years, the WHO EML and EMLc contain critical data informing national essential medicine lists, procurement and supply of medicines, and clinical decision-making.

Reference to MPP’s work was made in the report from the 22nd WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines (p15) including “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. […] 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.

Access the WHO EML and EMLc on the WHO website

Access the WHO news release

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 license 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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