Contribution to Universal Health Coverage

Enabling access to affordable medicines for those who need them most, wherever they live, is MPP’s contribution to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

International Goals

To achieve Universal Health Coverage, including access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all[1].

MPP’s Contribution

– To contribute to HIVhepatitis C and tuberculosis global goals

– To license medicines that are included in the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML) and those with strong potential for future inclusion in order to facilitate affordable access in LMICs.

We believe in Universal Health Coverage, access to essential medicines, and vaccines for all. There is a clear relationship between access to healthcare and poverty, and MPP works towards improving access to medicines for millions of people in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs).

HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis claim three million deaths every year[2]. Over 80% of people suffering from these diseases live in LMICs[3]. But half of the population living in these countries lacks regular access to essential medicines in a wide range of therapeutic areas[4]. This is an issue that Unitaid decided to address by creating the first public health patent pool working to increase access to new treatments in developing countries.

The MPP model contributes to making sustainable access to effective and affordable treatments administered in resource-limited contexts a reality.

In 2018, the Medicines Patent Pool conducted a feasibility study exploring the expansion of its mandate to include other patented priority essential medicines beyond HIVhepatitis C and tuberculosis, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The organisation’s remit now covers patented essential medicines included in the WHO EML and those with strong potential for future inclusion. The focus for the time being is on small molecules, while the applicability of the model to biologics is under consideration.

In 2019, MPP published a prioritisation framework that outlines a precise methodology for assessing candidate medicines that could play a major role in the expanded mandate.

In July 2019, WHO released its newly updated 21st WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) and 7th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for children (EMLc), which includes MPP’s licensed key treatments.

Read our statement on the inclusion of MPP-licensed and other game-changing medicines to the WHO EML.

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.” (April 2019)


“We support the engagement of all relevant international organizations, such as WHO, and initiatives, including the recent expansion of the Medicines Patent Pool, in their work to improve access for all to safe, effective, quality, affordable and essential health products.”

G7 Health Ministers’ Declaration at the G7 Health Ministerial Session

17 May 2019


“We support the engagement of all relevant organizations, such as WHO, UNAIDS, Gavi, the Global Fund, and Unitaid and initiatives, including the recent expansion of the Medicines Patent Pool, in their work to improve access for all to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential health products.”

G20 Health Ministers’ Declaration, Okayama, Japan 20 October

20 October 2019


[1] United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

[2] HIV and Tuberculosis, the Global Health Observatory (GHO), World Health Organization / World Health Organization, Hepatitis C Fact Sheet, July 2019 (last accessed on 9 March 2020)

[3] HIV: UNAIDS, Global HIV & AIDS statistics — 2019 fact sheethepatitis C (last accessed on 9 March. 2020); Hepatitis C: World Health Organization, Over 1 million treated with highly effective hepatitis C medicines; Tuberculosis: World Health Organization, Tuberculosis Fact Sheet, October 2019 (last accessed on 9 March 2020)

[4] BMJ Global Health, Estimated costs of production and potential prices for the WHO Essential Medicines List

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