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


– Expand MPP’s mandate beyond HIV, hepatitis C and TB, initially into patented small molecules that are listed on the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML).

– License medicines with strong potential for future inclusion in the EML in view of their clinical benefits and potential for public health impact, including new antimicrobials.

For too many, health is inaccessible, unaffordable or altogether unavailable. 100 million people each year, worldwide, are driven into poverty because healthcare costs are too high[2].

HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis C claim 3 million deaths annually[3]. Over 80% people suffering from these diseases live in low-and middle-income countries[4]. But half of the population living in these countries lack regular access to essential medicines in a wide range of therapeutic areas[5]. 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 includes patented essential medicines included in the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines (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), in which MPP’s licensed key treatments have been included.

Read our statement on the inclusion of MPP-licensed and other game-changing medicines to the WHO Essential Medicines Lists

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).


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

[2] Universal health coverage (UHC), the World Health Organization (WHO)

[3] HIV and Tuberculosis, The Global Health Observatory (GHO), WHO / Hepatitis C Fact Sheet, WHO, July 2019 (last accessed on 30 Jan. 2020)

[4] HIV, Global HIV & AIDS statistics — 2019 fact sheet, UNAIDS (last accessed on 3 Dec. 2019) / Hepatitis C: Over 1 million treated with highly effective hepatitis C medicines / Tuberculosis Fact Sheet, WHO, October 2019 (last accessed on 30 Jan. 2020)

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


“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 2019

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