[Ip-health] Medicines Patent Pool World AIDS Day Statement 2011

Kaitlin Mara kmara at medicinespatentpool.org
Thu Dec 1 00:40:08 PST 2011

The Medicines Patent Pool: 1 December 2011, World AIDS Day

On World AIDS Day a year ago, the Medicines Patent Pool sent invitations
to pharmaceutical companies asking them to license their patents to the
Pool to help increase access to HIV medicines in developing countries. 

One year later, the Pool has concluded its first licensing agreement with
a pharmaceutical company - Gilead Sciences - and has begun to sublicense
to generic manufacturers for the production of lower-cost medicines.

The Medicines Patent Pool, founded with the support of UNITAID in 2010, is
also in negotiations with 6 additional HIV patent holders ­ Boehringer
Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, F. Hoffman LaRoche, Sequoia
Pharmaceuticals, the US National Institutes of Health and ViiV Healthcare
[a joint venture of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer]. With each subsequent
licensing agreement the Pool signs, its value-added as a ³one-stop shop²
for licences increases. Companies that join the Pool send a strong signal
of their commitment to universal access to HIV treatment.

³In its first year of existence, the Pool has made tremendous progress. We
call on the remaining 3 companies we have invited to the table ­ Abbott,
Merck, and Johnson & Johnson ‹ to also enter into negotiations with the
Pool,² said Ellen Œt Hoen, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool.

Civil society, communities of people living with HIV, governmental and
intergovernmental organisations all play a vital role, along with the
Pool, in ensuring people have access to treatment. Vigilance from civil
society groups and communities also helps the Pool improve its work.

Funding mechanisms like the Global Fund and UNITAID are especially
critical. ³We are alarmed by the recent news that the Global Fund lacks
the resources to launch its next funding round. Even having all HIV
patents in the Pool means little if adequate funding to purchase
treatments is not there,² said Œt Hoen.

Over the last 10 years, increased access to HIV treatment has allowed
millions of people in developing countries to lead longer and healthier
lives. Generic medicines have been key in making this happen. The
Medicines Patent Pool seeks to keep these gains, and extend them further
by negotiating public-health friendly licences that facilitate generic
production and innovation on needed new formulations, such as simplified
"fixed-dose combinations" and medicines for children.

More information about the Ip-health mailing list