Medicines Patent Pool Recognised in WHO, WIPO, WTO Study on Health and Access to Medicines

GENEVA, 5 February 2013: The Medicines Patent Pool welcomes the recognition of its work by three key intergovernmental agencies in a new report exploring different strategies for access to and innovation on medical technologies in developing countries.

Patents can be used “expressly to leverage public health outcomes” when licensed with the right terms and conditions, says the report, available here, released by World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Heatlh Organization.

The Medicines Patent Pool in particular has “reinforced the trend towards voluntary licensing programmes that increase access to medicines by enabling new formulations and enhancing provision of cheaper generic medicines for developing countries,” the report notes, adding that voluntary licensing of HIV medicines in general has been an increasing trend since the MPP’s creation in 2010.

Patent pools were a key recommendation of an expert working group at WHO on incentivising research and development for the developing world, and patent pools, in particular the Medicines Patent Pool, was endorsed in a 2011 UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS to help reduce the price of medicines and encourage the development of needed new formulations.

“This report adds further weight to the idea of public-health oriented licensing as a key win for all stakeholders in the public health arena: from pharmaceutical companies, to generic companies, to – most importantly – people living with HIV. In light of it, the Pool invites pharmaceutical companies holding key HIV medicines patents who have not yet licensed them to the MPP to do so,” said Greg Perry, executive director of the Medicines Patent Pool.

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