[Ip-health] Questions about Viiv Healthcare voluntary licenses

Baker, Brook b.baker at neu.edu
Tue Jul 20 07:47:28 PDT 2010

The press statement from ViiV is somewhat ambiguous since at one place it says it will given licenses "to generic manufacturers in these [69] countries."  On one reading, this suggests that the manufacturing facilities might need to be physically located in one of the listed countries.  Since India, the major developing country manufacturer, is excluded from the list, the impact might be far less than suggested.  Indeed, at this point it would seem to primarily benefit Aspen Pharmacare, GSK's junior partner in S. Africa.  Of course, it is possible that the press release is merely sloppy and that the licensed medicines could be manufactured anywhere and thereafter marketed in the listed countries.

The announcement also fails to clarify whether the license will permit coformulation, whether it permits further research, and want if anything is expected with respect to follow-on innovations.

One wonders if the main purpose of this announcement is to undermine demands that ViiV join the new UNITAID-affiliated Patent Pool Foundation and particularly that GSK license in middle-income countries as well as LDCs and low-income countries.

It is certainly positive that the licenses will cover 80% of the developing world population that is living with HIV, but there are still many issues to be clarified.

Professor Brook K. Baker
Health GAP (Global Access Project) &
Northeastern U. School of Law, Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy
Honorary Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, Univ. of KwaZulu Natal, SA
400 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115 USA
(w) 617-373-3217
(c) 617-259-0760
(f) 617-373-5056
b.baker at neu.edu

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