Medicines Patent Pool Welcomes UNITAID Initiative to Fund Newer HIV Medicines

GENEVA, 13 JUNE 2013: The Medicines Patent Pool welcomes UNITAID’s announcement that it will provide up to USD $77 million to scale up access to newer, better tolerated HIV medicines.

Simplified, “fixed-dose combination” treatments based on tenofovir (TDF) are recommended by the World Health Organization over older HIV medicines that carry more unwanted side effects. UNITAID has committed funds to help people living with HIV switch to these preferred treatment regimens.

The Medicines Patent Pool in July 2011 signed an agreement with Gilead Sciences that helped to increase the availability of lower-cost TDF in many developing countries. Generic manufacturers working with the Patent Pool are already supplying more affordable versions of TDF in 20 more countries than they could prior to the
July 2011 agreement.

Lower-cost generic tenofovir will help UNITAID and other funders and treatment providers expand access to these critically important new treatments.

The Medicines Patent Pool is in further negotiations with several other pharmaceutical companies to facilitate affordable production of other important HIV medicines. The MPP’s most recent agreement covered a WHO-recommended treatment for children living with HIV.

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