[Ip-health] UNAIDS Statement on the Medicines Patent Pool
kmara at medicinespatentpool.org
Mon Oct 17 02:11:30 PDT 2011
UNAIDS has released a feature story on the Medicines Patent Pool,
available online here:
Medicines Patent Pool helps make antiretroviral medicines more
14 October 2011
Aurobindo Pharma and MedChem have become the first producers of generic
antiretroviral medicines to join the Medicines Patent Pool. By joining the
Pool, the two manufacturers are able to take advantage of the agreement
signed between Gilead Sciences and the Medicines Patent Pool in July 2011.
The July agreement made Gilead’s intellectual property on four
antiretroviral medicines available to the Patent Pool for licensing to
Through the new agreement, both pharmaceutical companies have signed up to
produce emtricitabine, cobistat and elvitegravir and the combination pill
called the ‘Quad’ which contains tenofovir, emtricitabine, cobistat, and
elvitegravir. In addition, generics manufacturer MedChem has also chosen
to produce tenofovir.
Aurobindo is already a major producer of generic antiretroviral medicines,
and was previously manufacturing tenofovir under a separate voluntary
license granted directly from Gilead Sciences which carried restrictions
to distribute to several countries. Through a key provision in the
Medicine Patent Pool’s licenses, Aurobindo was able to end its previous
agreement with Gilead. This will now allow Aurobindo to independently
produce tenofovir, which is off patent in India and directly distribute it
to a wider number of countries than the previous license had permitted.
This should help to make tenofovir more widely available at a lower cost.
UNAIDS strongly encourages other antiretroviral patent holders to
establish agreements with the Pool, and for generic manufacturers to
utilize the licenses that the Pool can facilitate to expand access to
antiretroviral treatment Paul De Lay, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director,
“We congratulate the Medicines Patent Pool for completing this agreement
with Aurobindo and Medchem,” said Paul De Lay, UNAIDS Deputy Executive
Director, Programme. “UNAIDS strongly encourages other antiretroviral
patent holders to establish agreements with the Pool, and for generic
manufacturers to utilize the licenses that the Pool can facilitate to
expand access to antiretroviral treatment.”
There are currently an estimated 6.6 million people receiving
antiretroviral treatment in low- and middle-income countries around the
world. However a further 9 million people who are eligible for treatment
still do not have access.
The Medicines Patent Pool was established in 2010 with the support of
UNITAID. It aims to increase access to newer antiretroviral medicines by
creating a pool of patents and intelligence on antiretroviral production
donated by medicine producers. It is currently in negotiations with a
number of other patent holders and producers.
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