Geneva, 2 October 2019 — The Medicines Patent Pool today announced the first of a two-step update of its database MedsPaL to include additional patented small molecule medicines following the publication of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s updated Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) in July.

Launched in 2016, MedsPaL is a free resource on the intellectual property status of patented medicines included in the WHO EML for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Initially covering selected HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis medicines in LMICs, MedsPaL expanded to all patented treatments on the EML in 2017.

“We are passionate in our belief that public health stakeholders must have simplified access to accurate patent information on essential medicines in order to make informed decisions when the time comes to procure and supply those important drugs to the people who need them,” said Charles Gore, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool. “MedsPaL now provides patent and licensing data covering 96 priority medicines in more than 130 low- and middle-income countries, and includes over 8,000 national patents and patent applications.”

This update includes data on patents for medicines to treat lung cancer, multiple myeloma, prostate cancer, atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, nausea, post-partum haemorrhage, hypertension and for three antibiotics, namely abiraterone, afatinib, apixaban, aprepitant, bortezomib, carbetocin (heat-stable formulation), ceftazidime+avibactam, dabigatran, edoxaban, erlotinib, gefitinib, lenalinomide, meropenem+vaborbactam, plazomicin, rivaroxaban, telmisartan+amlodipine, telmisartan+hydrochlorothiazide and tiotropium. For some of these medicines, key patents have expired, but a number of relevant secondary patents remain in force in some LMICs.

Information on patented biologics will be made available in a second update before the end of the year.

“It is fundamental that countries willing to provide greater access to essential medicines can refer to a reliable up-to-date database like MedsPaL to check the patent status of the medicines they want to procure,” said Nicola Magrini, Secretary of the WHO Essential Medicines List. “Access to medicines is certainly an important pillar of Universal Health Coverage and MedsPaL supports its efficient implementation at country level.”

MPP regularly updates the patent and licensing status data included in MedsPaL, including through data collected from national and regional patent offices from around the world. MPP has signed collaborative agreements with the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO), the European Patent Office (EPO), Argentina’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Chile’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI), Dominican Republic’s National Office of Industrial Property (ONAPI), Ecuador’s National Service of Intellectual Rights (SENADI), the Egyptian Patent Office (EGPO), El Salvador’s National Registry Center (CNR), Peru’s National Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI), South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), and Uruguay’s National Directorate of Industrial Property (DNPI).

About the Medicines Patent Pool

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, 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, 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. MPP was founded by Unitaid, which serves as sole funder for MPP’s activities in HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis. Funding provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for MPP’s feasibility study on the potential expansion of its licensing activities into patented essential medicines made the upgrade of MedsPaL to include other EML treatments possible.

More information about the Medicines Patent Pool, its public health mission and impact.


For more detailed information on a given patent or its interpretation, MedsPaL users are encouraged to contact national patent offices or consult legal counsel.