Impact

From sales of medicines to impact on peoples’ lives, the Medicines Patent Pool’s work is a game-changer in the access to treatments space.

MPP in Numbers

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patent holders with MPP signed agreements

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generic manufactures and product developers have sublicenses from MPP

0 Bn
doses of treatment supplied (Jan 2012 - Dec 2020)
US$0 Mn
dollars saved through MPP'S licences (Jan 2012 - Dec 2020)
By 2030
US$0 Bn
projected dollars saved
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countries have benefited from access to MPP-licence products
0 Mn
patient-years of treatment through MPPs generic partners (Jan 2012 - Dec 2020)
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deaths averted (Jan 2012 - Dec 2020)
By 2030
0
deaths averted

 

Saving money and lives: The impact of MPP

Estimating the impact of our work:

uptake, economics, and public health

With billions of doses of treatments for HIV and HCV supplied through access-oriented voluntary licensing since 2010, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has had tremendous impact.

Through a rigorous impact assessment methodology, MPP makes annual estimations of what its work means in terms of economic and health benefits for people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This helps quantify the money and lives saved by MPP and its partners.

Until 2020, MPP reported its impact mostly in terms of economic savings, based on a methodology published in 2017 as a peer-reviewed article in PLOS One. Building from this model, and recognising the health benefits of accessing optimal treatments (compared to other, sometimes suboptimal alternatives), our impact assessment methodology now includes new health impact indicators, while being informed by more nuanced assumptions that help support credible estimations. The MPP impact assessment methodology was revised with technical support from Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA) and funding from Unitaid. The methodology was published in The Lancet Public Health in 2021 in a research article entitled The economic and public health impact of intellectual property licensing of medicines for low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study.

Today, our impact assessment methodology considers the role of MPP licences in supporting expanded generic competition and the resulting effect on reducing drug prices.[5] The model, which is based on country-level modelling, assumes that uptake of products is influenced by prices, and that increased uptake of more affordable optimal products creates both economic and health impact.

Accordingly, MPP reports on three main uptake, economic, and health metrics:

  • Uptake of MPP-licensed products
    This indicator reports on the amounts of medicines supplied by MPP licensees, both in terms of the number of doses and the corresponding number of people treated (reported as patient-years, where one patient-year corresponds to the quantity of medicines needed to treat one person for one year). This is what MPP licensees have produced and delivered.6
  • Cost savings
    This indicator reports on the actual financial savings for governments, funders, procurement agencies, and other buyers and implementers brought by accessing MPP-licensed products compared to a scenario where these would not have been licensed by MPP. These are the actual cost savings that MPP licences have enabled.
  • Deaths averted
    This indicator reports on the health benefits brought by increased access to WHO-recommended MPP-licensed products compared to a scenario where these would not have been licensed by MPP. These increments in health benefits are those that the people in affected communities have gained from greater use of optimal products over alternatives (which often were already good treatment options).

5The MPP licences considered for impact calculations are those for: atazanavir (ATV), daclatasvir (DAC), dolutegravir (DTG), lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r), and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF).

6For the calculation of total patient-years, the amount of drugs needed for treating one patient for HCV (which is curable, not a lifelong treatment) is counted as one patient-year.

 

In addition to these metrics, MPP also reports on other uptake, economic, and health metrics:

  • Additional uptake through MPP licences
    This indicator measures the contribution of MPP licences in growing the number of people on licensed products. It looks at thea dditional uptake of WHO-recommended MPP-licensed medicines compared to a scenario in absence of MPP, considering that at times the same product would have otherwise been procured but at higher prices. This is how much more of these optimal products were used because of MPP licences.
  • Theoretical expenditure avoided
    This indicator looks at the investment (or additional expenditure) that would have been needed for the same level of optimal drug uptake in absence of MPP. This is what the global health community would have had to invest to advance health in the same way (i.e. by procuring the same volumes of licensed drugs as is happening).
  • Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) averted (calculated for HIV only)
    This indicator reports on the number of years of healthy life that would have been lost to disability induced by alternative (often sub-optimal) no or suboptimal treatment in absence of MPP – it is calculated for HIV products only. This is the number of healthy years that people living with HIV have gained from greater use of optimal products over alternatives (which often were already good treatment options).
  • Virological failures averted (HIV specific)
    The number of HIV treatment failures that would have taken place in absence of MPP. This is the long-term value of MPP-enabled HIV treatment for people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy, helping them also benefit from U=U (undetectable = untransmittable).

The methodology allows estimation of impact achieved so far (taking advantage of drug supply data obtained from MPP licensees for HIV and HCV products), as well as projections into the future (using the best available treatment uptake forecasts, showcasing the benefits of long-term management of existing MPP licences). Impact achieved so far and projections until 2030 are reported further below.

Exploring the results

Various impact metrics emerging from MPP licences are shown below until 2020, with projections until 2030 for current MPP licences (not counting new licences that MPP may get in the coming years).

These impact numbers explore the incremental effects of MPP licences over and above what would have otherwise happened in the absence of MPP. This is the impact of MPP’s work, which is enabled by numerous partners: patent holders, generic manufacturers, procurement agencies, funders, governments, civil society, and communities of people affected by HIV, HCV, and other diseases. This impact is accordingly part of broader global health efforts to roll out optimal treatments in LMICs for which our licensees are key contributors. Together, we recognise and thank all these partners for their contribution in enabling the impact of MPP licences. We are glad to be working together towards the 2030 global health goals!

 

 

Cumulative MPP impact achieved
from 2010 until end of 2020
Cumulative MPP impact projected
from 2010 until 2030
Uptake 18.55 billion doses supplied
49.71 million patient-years treated
1.4 million
additional patient-years treated
17 million
additional patient-years treated
Economic
benefits
920 million
USD saved by the global community
3.5 billion
USD saved by the global community
2.1 billion
USD in theoretical expenditures avoided
22 billion
USD in theoretical expenditures avoided
Health
benefits
11,000
deaths averted
170,000
deaths averted
50,000
DALYs averted
1.1 million
DALYs averted
64,000
HIV virological failures averted
1.5 million
HIV virological failures averted

 

Visualising economic and health impact

Costs saved and deaths averted achieved so far are shown below until 2020, with projections until 2030 for current MPP licences. Future licences for emerging products of public health interest will add their contribution to these impact channels.

Reflecting on the benefits from investing in MPP

The cost-benefit ratio for the global health community of financially supporting MPP can be calculated by comparing the costs of investing in MPP for work in the HIV, HCV, and TB spaces (funded by Unitaid since 2010) with the costs saved so far and until the end of the current funding cycle in 2025. The continuous increase seen for the cumulative cost-benefit ratio reflects the importance of long-term effects of MPP licences, brought by enduring licence management until patent expiry. This ratio was 9:1already in 2015, and 17:1by the end of 2020; it should grow to at least 30:1 by 2025 (based on current licences – not counting new licences that MPP may get in the coming years).

It is clear: public health investment in MPP pays off!

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