“The rapid development of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics against COVID-19 was a triumph for science, but inequitable access to those tools has been a global failure that has hampered the response. The new strategy for the Medicines Patent Pool offers a way forward. […]
Local production depends on non-exclusive licensing and technology transfer. […]
My thanks to the Medicines Patent Pool for its continuing partnership as we work together to make lifesaving tools accessible and affordable for everyone, everywhere.”
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director General of the World Health Organization
We recognize the imperative of developing and ensuring equitable access to new diagnostics capabilities, vaccines, therapeutics and other medical emergency countermeasures for infectious diseases with epidemic and pandemic potential, and the role that voluntary contributions and innovative mechanisms for international global health collaboration are playing in developing and deploying life-saving interventions. In Statement G20 Health Ministers’ Declaration November 19, 2020 this regard, we recognize the role that international partners dedicated to access to innovation such as Unitaid and the Medicines Patent Pool can play. […]
G20 Health Ministers’ Declaration, Riyadh Summit, Saudi Arabia
19 November 2020
Today, the need to ensure universal access to COVID-19 technologies, in particular medicines and vaccines currently being developed, calls for a global mechanism to pool the IP and knowledge related to these technologies. The WHO will need to lead this work with partners such as the MPP that can offer their expertise and experience.
Ellen ‘t Hoen, Director of Medicines Law & Policy, researcher at University Medical Centre Groningen, and the founder of MPP
Ten years ago, the founding of Medical Patent Pool sparked new action towards closing the vast treatment gap between children and adults in the HIV treatment landscape. EGPAF is proud of its collaboration with MPP, an organization that will continue working until every child and young person has the quality medicine they need to live a happy, healthy life.
Chip Lyons, President and CEO, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
With the help of partners like the MPP, the Global Fund has accelerated access to key new products in the countries it supports, putting 18.9 million people on antiretroviral therapy for HIV in 2018, and providing more than 83% of HIV-positive mothers with ARV therapy to keep them alive and prevent transmission of the virus to their babies, up from just 1% in 2000.
Philippe Francois, Head of Sourcing & Supply Chain – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a public health organization funded by Unitaid, has played a significant role in facilitating affordable access to essential medicines in the field of HIV and HCV through its public health oriented licences with originator companies. To date, the MPP has licences on 14 medicines on the WHO EML. 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. The recent expansion of the MPP to other patented essential medicines beyond HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis represents a real opportunity to facilitate affordable access to some of the new medicines that have been added to the list this year in low and middle-income countries. 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. (Report from the 22nd WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines – p.15)
22nd WHO Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines
Two billion people worldwide lack access to life-changing treatments – including medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tools. Wellcome spends around £1 billion each year to support research and drive reform to improve health for people around the world. The full benefits of innovations to improve health can only be realised if they reach the people who need them, especially those living in low- and middle-income countries. Practices such as voluntary licensing, patent pooling and equitable pricing are fundamental to increasing access to prevention, treatment and care. We are pleased to support the MPP in its efforts to speed access in low- and middle-income countries.
Alex Harris, Head of Global Policy at The Wellcome Trust
The new agreement [licence agreement on hepatitis C treatment glecaprevir/pibrentasvir] is an important step towards achieving elimination of hepatitis C worldwide. We urge national governments to take action now to make such curative treatments available for the millions of people in need.
Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of Department of HIV and Global Hepatitis Programme, World Health Organization
We strongly endorse the new strategy to further improve treatment options for HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis patients. Since its creation, the Medicines Patent Pool has played a valuable role in supporting international efforts to increase access to priority medicines in resource-limited countries.
Lelio Marmora, Executive Director, Unitaid
Unitaid strongly supports the TB Alliance-Medicines Patent Pool collaboration to jump-start the clinical development of the new tuberculosis treatment sutezolid. This World Tuberculosis Day, we must re-double efforts to find better, faster-acting treatment solutions, especially for resistant forms of the disease.
Lelio Marmora, Executive Director, Unitaid
To allow a competitive market, license agreements need to cover a broad territory, be non-exclusive, and include a number of generics-producing companies. They should be made public and ideally be negotiated through the Medicines Patent Pool to ensure transparency, and include pro-competitive, public health-friendly terms and conditions. View More
Global report on access to Hepatitis C Treatment
The demand for affordable HIV treatment has resulted in comprehensive price reduction strategies for HIV medicines that may be applied to other medicines, diagnostics and health commodities. Strategies include fostering generic competition, including through, where appropriate, voluntary licences that include pro-access terms and conditions such as those negotiated by the Medicines Patent Pool. View More
WHO Global Health Sector Strategy on HIV, 2016–2021
The Medicines Patent Pool was established following a recommendation of the WHO Global strategy and plan of action for public health, innovation and intellectual property. The Pool, which marks its fifth anniversary this year, has produced a remarkable track record in using license agreements to improve access to HIV treatments in middle-income as well as low-income countries. I welcome the intention of this Pool to extend its work to negotiate licensing agreements that expand access to tuberculosis and hepatitis C treatments. View More
Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General: Addressing Symposium on Intellectual Property and Trade
Voluntary use, where appropriate, of […] patent pools benefiting all developing countries, including through entities such as the Medicines Patent Pool, [is encouraged] to help reduce treatment costs and encourage development of new HIV treatment formulations, including HIV medicines and point-of-care diagnostics, in particular for children.
United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV/Aids
We welcome the Patent Pool Initiative launched by Unitaid in order to facilitate the production of affordable generic medicines well-adapted for use in resource-poor settings, and we encourage the voluntary participation of patent owners, private and public, in the project.
G8 Declaration: Renewed Commitment for Freedom and Democracy
The WTO’s publication: “Innovation and patenting activities of COVID-19 vaccines in WTO members: Analytical review of Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) COVID-19 Vaccines Patent Landscape (VaxPaL)” (published on 18 January,2022, accessible here):
In this publication, VaxPaL is recognised as the best source for gathering information on COVID-19 vaccines patents. In addition, the authors wrote the following acknowledgement: “The authors want to express their profound gratitude to Ms Amina Maillard, Patent Information Manager in the Medicines Patent Pool, for her wholehearted support during the course of this research. This paper and the research behind it would not have been possible without the exceptional support of Ms Maillard. Her enthusiasm, knowledge, and exacting attention to detail have been inspiring and kept our work on track since our first encounter with VaxPaL to the final draft of this paper. Her generosity and expertise have improved this study significantly and saved us from many errors. However, those that inevitably remain are entirely our own responsibility.”
- The WHO Director General’s report to the 150th WHO Executive Board (24 January 2022), mentioned MPP’s work in finalising its first licensing agreement for a COVID-19 serological antibody test in the context of the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) (full speech here).
- Indonesia G20 Presidency Chair’s summary (Bali, Indonesia, 12 November 2022):
..:We recognize the role innovative and flexible partnerships in global health, such as Gavi, the Global Fund, CEPI, Unitaid, the Global Alliance for Diagnostics (FIND), and the Medicines Patent pool, can play in close collaboration with WHO, UNICEF and its Member States in building global health resilience and response capacity against future pandemic threats” (full document accessible here).
It is worth noting that Action 24 (see below) of the Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) on HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs for 2022-2030 was adopted by the 75th World Health Assembly in May 2022 (here). This endorsement was already counted under this indicator in 2021, as the draft GHSS strategy was published in December 2021:
Action 24. Essential health commodities: “…Price reduction strategies such as fostering further generic competition through voluntary licensing on public health-oriented terms and conditions, a key mechanism for improving access to the current HIV and viral hepatitis treatments, can also be used for expanding access to new products in low- and middle-income countries, as well as promoting voluntary technology sharing on mutually agreed terms..”
G7 Nagasaki Health Ministers’ Communiqué
The G7 would welcome the MPP to work with relevant stakeholders on strengthening the voluntary licencing processes for vaccines and other medical products as an important tool to improve equitable access. We emphasise the importance of promoting geographically diverse and sustainable manufacturing and delivery according to public health and community needs, and encourage the full participation of all stakeholders.
G7 Nagasaki Health Ministers' Communiqué
Ten years ago, Unitaid created the Medicines Patent Pool, which allows pharmaceutical companies to license their rights on a voluntary basis. This has enabled the production of generics that treat tens of millions of people around the world. Thanks to MPP, for example, an annual treatment for HIV/AIDS costs less than US$70 in Africa, compared to the US$10,000 it costs in Europe.
Marisol Touraine, Chair of the Unitaid Executive Board
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
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. Access to medicines is certainly an important pillar of Universal Health Coverage and MedsPaL supports its efficient implementation at country level.
Nicola Magrini, Secretary of the WHO Essential Medicines List
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
Since 2012, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has become the main driving force behind quality, proactive voluntary licensing in the pharmaceutical industry (see Figure 30). The Foundation has consistently found that the transparency and flexibility of terms and conditions is highest when the MPP is involved.
Access to Medicine Foundation
I am honoured to be invited to represent the WHO on the MPP’s Governance Board. Access to essential medicines is fundamental to the ability of everyone to achieve the highest attainable standard of health and core to the Sustainable Development Goal of promoting well-being for all at all ages. I look forward to contributing to the MPP’s development in this area.
Dr. Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão, Assistant Director-General for Drug Access, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals, the World Health Organization
The MPP continues to be the central independent driver of access-oriented licensing in the pharmaceutical industry. Licences agreed via the MPP include the majority of the access-oriented terms and conditions looked for by the Index. Non-exclusive licences agreed outside of the MPP include an average of five out of eight of such access-oriented terms. They most commonly do not include waivers on data exclusivity. Out of the 20 licensed compounds captured by the Index, 13 were negotiated via the MPP.
Access to Medicine Foundation
WHO welcomes the announcement that the Medicines Patent Pool is expanding its mandate to include patented medicines on WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines in its patent pooling and voluntary licensing initiatives. It is a welcome and significant step forward toward improving access to affordable medicines and this is why we strongly advocated for the expansion of the MPP’s mandate.
Dr. Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão, Assistant Director-General for Drug Access, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals, WHO
After 5 years of operation of the MPP, millions of people have benefited and impressive financial savings have been achieved. The Commission concludes that there is great potential for expanding access to other new essential medicines through licensing of patents through patent pooling.
The Lancet Commissions on Essential Medicines for Universal Health Coverage
The level of transparency in licensing agreements executed by the UNITAID-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), in which all licences are publicly available, is laudable and rare. Voluntary licences can be an important enabler of treatment access. For example, in less than four years, licences negotiated through the MPP are estimated to have generated US$ 120 million in savings globally and supplied seven million patient-years of WHO-recommended ARV medicines.
United Nations High Level Panel on Access to Medicines
We, Heads of Government and representatives of States and Governments, welcome the broadening of the scope of work of the Medicines Patent Pool, hosted by UNITAID, to promote voluntary partnerships to address Hepatitis C and tuberculosis, reflecting the importance of integrating the AIDS response into the broader global health agenda. View More
United Nations General Assembly, Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS
Unitaid applauds today’s agreement by ViiV and the MPP to address the specific needs of children living with HIV. Incorporating palatable, child-friendly medicine options into paedriatic HIV programmes could significantly enhance and prolong children’s lives
Philippe Douste Blazy, Chair, Unitaid
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) welcomes the new collaboration between the Medicines Patent Pool and ViiV Healthcare to increase access to antiretroviral therapy for children. The new agreement is a significant step forwards in HIV treatment for children as very few antiretroviral drugs are formulated for paediatric use.
South Africa alone is the home to 20% of all people living with HIV in the world. It is also the country running the world’s largest antiretroviral treatment programme. Such volumes of ARVs are unheard of for other countries. A healthy competitive market that meets our huge ARV need is imperative to saving lives of many, and thanks to the Medicines Patent Pool, this is something that we have today.
Precious Matsoso, Former Director-General of the National Department of Health in South Africa
The MPP model fits the Swiss approach to improving access because it promotes voluntary, collaborative solutions with the pharmaceutical industry for reducing prices of essential patented products, while ensuring the quality of those medicines, and protection of intellectual property rights. This is why we support the MPP in the realisation of its expansion programme.
Alex Schulze, Co-Head of the Global Programme Health, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
The Government of Pakistan warmly welcomes the agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool and AbbVie to expand access to glecaprevir/pibrentasvir – a very important therapy for the treatment of HCV [hepatitis C] – into territories including Pakistan. The HCV burden in Pakistan is endemic, affecting over eight million of our country’s population and the prevention and treatment of HCV is a national priority. This agreement will considerably aid our efforts and, ultimately, accelerate the permanent elimination of the HCV virus.
Mr Aamer Mehmood Kianai, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Government of Pakistan
Successful cooperation of the Ministry of Health of Belarus with the Medicines Patent Pool is crucial in light of our current work to achieve the “90-90-90” goals and put an end to the epidemic in the country which is only possible when access to affordable and quality assured medicines is increased. Generic Bictegravir as well as other medicines for treating HIV, which Belarus will be able to procure due to the MPP’s agreement, are very much needed for the country.
Valery Malashko, Minister of Health of Belarus
We are grateful for MPP efforts to ensure the availability and quality of guaranteed HIV treatment for Ukrainian patients and we hope to further expand access to innovative medicines for the treatment of HIV infections, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis.
Dr. Ulana Suprun, Minister of Health, Ukraine
The inclusion of Morocco in the MPP-ViiV licence on dolutegravir is great news for us. Dolutegravir is a very interesting new treatment that could play an important role in the HIV response in our country. Having access to the drug at affordable prices is key and we congratulate both parties for this important agreement.
Houssaine Louardi, Minister of Health of the Kingdom of MOROCCO
PEPFAR [the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief] applauds the new MSD licence as part of international efforts to greatly improve the lives of infants and children living with HIV/AIDS. Without antiretroviral treatment, 50 percent of infants living with HIV/AIDS will die by the age of two, and 80 percent by the age of five.
Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D. United States Global AIDS Coordinator and United States Representative for Global Health Diplomacy
On the occasion of World AIDS Day, France expresses its solidarity with the 35 million people living with HIV. It welcomes the signing – announced today – of a new agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool and the laboratory AbbVie. This will provide access, at an affordable price, to antiretroviral drugs for children (lopinavir/ritonavir).
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
Of the 3.2 million children with HIV in the world, more than 90% live in sub-Saharan Africa with South Africa bearing a significantly high burden. (…) New adapted treatments of LPV/r and other medicines are urgently needed to end the HIV paediatric crisis. We are thus very pleased with the [MPP-AbbVie] agreement signed today.
South African Minister of Health, Aaron Mostoaledi
It is because of the work of organisations like MPP and Unitaid that dolutegravir is widely available in Kenya today. MPP accelerates the availability of generic versions and makes treatments affordable for countries like mine and for them to be scaled up to even the most remote villages.
Nelson Otwoma, CEO, National Empowerment Network of People living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK)
Claiming over one million lives each year, viral hepatitis is one of the world’s major public health challenges and disproportionately affects people living in low- and middle-income countries. Therefore access to safe, quality-assured treatments, affordable for all, has to be the fundamental aim of the public health community. This is a big step in that direction [licence agreement on hepatitis C treatment glecaprevir/pibrentasvir]. The next step is to see more territories included in the agreement. Each step makes the dream of hepatitis C elimination more real.
Raquel Peck, CEO, World Hepatitis Alliance
ECUO PLWH, a regional network of communities living with HIV across 15 Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries, welcomes the extension of the MPP’s licence for bictegravir, tenofovir and other HIV medicines to include Ukraine and Belarus, countries that face numerous barriers to the access of inexpensive generic forms of HIV medicines. ECUO supports the strategy of the Medicines Patent Pool to scale up access to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis medicines for our countries.
Vladimir Zhovtyak, President of ECUO PLWH (East Europe and Central Asia Union of People Living with HIV)
The availability of generic atazanavir will bring more treatment options for PLHIV in Indonesia. Considering that atazanavir has lower pill counts and more favourable effects on lipid levels than existing protease inhibitors used in-country, its availability is beneficial.
Edo Agustian, National Coordinator, Indonesia Drug User Network
Since 2012, the Medicines Patent Pool has become the main driving force behind voluntary licensing in the pharmaceutical industry. MPP prioritizes transparent and access-friendly terms in licences that support rapid access to key products in large numbers of countries where the biggest disease burden lies.
Jay Iyer, CEO, Access to Medicines Index
Given that Ukraine is a lower middle-income country, there will always be a question of generics or expensive originator medicines. Talking to
the government about patents and access, and mechanisms that will make medicines available, this is where MPP can do its brilliant work, providing the
right medications, for the right cost, to the right people.
Anton Basenko, Policy & Partnership Development Alliance, Ukraine
This [expansion of the BMS atazanavir licence] is great news for Malaysia as it provides a very interesting option for affordable second-line treatment.
Edward Low, Director of the Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)
We are delighted that ViiV has reacted positively to our request and has included Ukraine into the MPP licence for paediatric abacavir, an important medicine for children living with HIV. Given the current situation in Ukraine, initiatives that result in access to lower priced ARVs are particularly important.
All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCR) and shareholders are applauding Roche on its recent agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). […] Shareholders consider the MPP to be an important program to help address the access to medicines issues thus facilitating efforts of pharmaceutical companies to meet their moral obligation to the health needs of the world’s most vulnerable.
Interfaith Center on Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCR)
“Shionogi is proud to work on such an innovative licence agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool. This licence agreement will allow people in LMICs to have rapid access to ensitrelvir, following appropriate regulatory approvals. We consistently strive to supply the best possible medicines to protect the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve. It is another great example of what partnerships can achieve to advance global health.”
Takuko Sawada, Director and Vice Chairperson of the Shionogi Board (about the licence agreement for ensitrelvir)
“We’re proud to be pioneering this new licensing model with MPP in collaboration with the ATOM Coalition, but we know too that making a medicine available is only one part of the challenge to increase access to cancer treatments. For generic versions of this medicine to reach those who need it, wherever they live, the right diagnostics and quality of care will be critical. That’s why we’ve helped to build the new Access to Oncology Medicines (ATOM) Coalition, and we will be relying on the support of our partners from research, non-profits and the private sector to help deliver on the promise of this initiative.”
Lutz Hegemann, President of Global Health and Sustainability, Novartis (about the nilotinib licence agreement)
According to the WHO, pan-genotypic treatments that cure hepatitis C in 3-4 months are now available at affordable prices to millions of people in low and middle-income countries, just 5 years after their initial approval. This is thanks in part to the partnership of innovators, the Medicines Patent Pool, and manufacturers of generic medicines.
Anil Soni, Head of Global Infectious Diseases, Mylan
At Cipla, we recognise the crucial importance of increasing the availability of HIV treatment options for children living with HIV, especially in developing countries. We look forward to working with MPP to bring LPV/r for paediatric use to market soon.
Paul Miller, Cipla South Africa CEO
We recognize there is an important patient need for new tuberculosis treatments, and the partnership with Medicines Patent Pool will help provide researchers globally with an opportunity to partner in and to further progress the clinical development of sutezolid.
Charles Knirsch, Medical/Clinical Global Health Partners Lead, Emerging Markets, Pfizer Inc.
Central to our vision at AbbVie is developing therapies, such as our pan-genotypic HCV treatment, for the most serious diseases and providing access to those treatments. We are pleased to have reached today’s agreement [Licence agreement on hepatitis C treatment glecaprevir/pibrentasvir] with the MPP.
Laura Schumacher, Executive Vice President, External Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, AbbVie
Adcock Ingram, local pharmaceutical manufacturer in South Africa and one of the suppliers to the public sector, is proud to be partnering with MPP to bring this essential antiretroviral to people living with HIV in our country. DTG is widely used in the treatment of HIV and its introduction in countries hardest hit by HIV could greatly improve treatment quality and standard of care.
Andy Hall, CEO, Adcock Ingram
“Achieving this significant milestone reinforces how partnerships must play a powerful role in ending the HIV epidemic. We are very proud of our long-standing collaboration with MPP and how our work together is enabling access to our medicines for people living with HIV, regardless of their income, location, status, age, or gender. We are excited by this progress and remain as determined as ever to work alongside MPP and the global HIV community to deliver on our mission to leave no person living with HIV behind.”
Deborah Waterhouse, CEO of ViiV Healthcare (about the milestone of 100 countries being supplied with DTG-based products)
Broad access to WHO prioritised medicines is critical to ending HIV/AIDS, so enabling the wide availability of dolutegravir to people living with HIV – regardless of their income or where they live – has been central to ViiV Healthcare’s access to medicines strategy and our partnership with the Medicines Patent Pool since 2014.
Deborah Waterhouse, CEO, ViiV Healthcare
Dolutegravir combinations are the future of HIV treatment and Langhua Pharma recognises the crucial importance of increasing the volume of low-cost versions to help meet treatment scale-up targets globally.
Zhang Weidong, General Manager, Langhua Pharma
We are happy to work together with MPP and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to improve health outcomes by providing access to new and affordable therapies to developing countries.
Pankaj R. Patel, Zydus Chairman and Managing Director
Desano welcomes the opportunity of supporting increased volumes of this crucial treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa, and specifically for South Africa, which has the largest HIV treatment programme in the world.
Tun Guo, Desano Director and Company Secretary
The Medicines Patent Pool is an innovative mechanism for increasing access to both patented pipeline and existing medicines (…) Our three-year collaboration has been very successful thus far. Countries eligible for generic competition for TDF (tenofovir dixoproxil fumarate), for example, have increased dramatically to the ultimate benefit of many national treatment programmes in key resource-limited countries.
Gregg Alton, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Medical Affairs for Gilead Sciences
We are excited about both the public health and business opportunities provided by the Patent Pool licences. Aurobindo looks forward to increasing its manufacture of HIV-related products, and expanding its work to cover promising new treatments, for the millions of people living with HIV across the globe.
P.V. Ramaprasad Reddy, Chairman, Aurobindo