Medicines Patent Pool statement at the 70th World Health Assembly

Agenda item 13.4: Evaluation and review of the global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

MPP representative: Erika Dueñas, Policy and Advocacy Manager

The Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and IP (GSPOA) is a key initiative to promote new thinking on innovation and access to medicines and encourage needs-driven research targeting diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries. The Medicines Patent Pool is one concrete example of successful implementation of the GSPOA where it was originally proposed as a mechanism to promote transfer and access to health-related technologies (Element 4.3 of the GSPOA).  We thank Member States for having encouraged the global health community to test this new approach and Unitaid for taking the lead in establishing the MPP as the first public health patent pool, initially focusing on HIV, and now expanded to hepatitis C and tuberculosis (TB).

The MPP would also like to highlight the progress that has been made in implementing GSPOA recommendations relating to making patent information on key medicines publicly available (Element 5.1 of the GSPOA).  Transparency of patent status information is critical.  Last October, the MPP had the honour of launching MedsPaL, a new online platform that enables stakeholders to rapidly understand the intellectual property (IP) status of priority HIV, HCV and TB medicines in low- and middle-income countries.  Today, the platform is widely used by health actors involved in medicine development, procurement and supply and includes information provided by national patent offices as well as pharmaceutical companies.  Further expansion of this tool is being considered to enable user-friendly access to patent status information on essential medicines.

We welcome the ongoing review of the GSPOA, which will provide an opportunity to assess progress to date and areas where significant challenges remain. We look forward to collaborating with the Secretariat and Member States in the continued implementation of the GSPOA.

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