[Ip-health] MSF: references on diagnostics, IP and market monopoly

Yuanqiong HU Yuanqiong.HU at geneva.msf.org
Tue May 26 10:15:49 PDT 2020

Dear all,

We would like to share with you the below link to three reference documents concerning IP, market monopoly and diagnostics.

In the resource-limited settings where MSF works, the lack of access to affordable, adapted and simplified diagnostic tests for infectious diseases is an ongoing struggle. Where suitable diagnostics do exist, the manufacturers have control over the supply chain to the extent that it acts as a market monopoly.

In 2017, MSF conducted a series of analyses on the causes of this diagnostics market monopoly, especially for tuberculosis (TB), HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) tests used in MSF medical programmes. A patent landscape report examines in depth three point-of-care diagnostics for these infectious diseases: Xpert MTB/RIF (Cepheid), AlereQ HIV-1/2 Detect (Abbott), and OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test (OraSure). A broad literature review of patents and diagnostics was also conducted by MSF with an external consultant and researchers. Finally, summary notes for global health and civil society organisations was produced, presenting key observations and potential areas for follow-up research to improve people’s access to lifesaving diagnostic tools.

Best regards,


HU Yuan Qiong, PhD
Senior Legal & Policy Advisor (Tue - Fri) | Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign

Rue de Lausanne 78, P.O. Box 1016, CH-1211 Geneve 1, Switzerland

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