Ellen ‘t Hoen has informed the Board she will step down as Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool on 1 May. It was agreed, when becoming Executive Director, that she would leave once she had established the Pool on a firm footing. She has done this magnificently and also created a dedicated and highly skilled team which will allow a seamless transition to her successor.
Ellen has headed the initiative since 2009 when it began as an internal project at UNITAID. From there she took it through to its establishment as an independent entity in 2010, and has developed the Pool to become an important player in the field of HIV treatment. Ellen took a germ of an idea and with her formidable skill, energy and commitment to public health, built it in a very short time into a strong and stable institution capable of delivering real improvements in access to medicines for people living with HIV today. Thanks to her efforts, the Pool enjoys broad support from a range of stakeholders, including leading pharmaceutical companies, global health institutions, governments, NGOs, and communities of people living with HIV. In December 2011 the UNITAID Board showed its confidence in the Pool by confirming its commitment to a further four years of funding.
Under her leadership, the Pool completed licence agreements with the United States National Institutes of Health and Gilead Sciences, and ensured the uptake of these licences with three generic manufacturers of HIV medicines: Aurobindo Pharma, Emcure Pharma and MedChem. Negotiations are ongoing with other patent holding and generic companies. In addition, as part of its mission, the Pool has played an important role by working with WHO and UNITAID to identify public health priorities for new antiretroviral combinations required in developing countries and, with WIPO, to establish the patent status of antiretrovirals. This has enabled the identification of priorities for Pool interventions.
On behalf of the entire Medicines Patent Pool Board, I would like to thank Ellen for her dedicated service and wish her the best in her future endeavours. We are very pleased that Ellen has agreed to stay involved in our work in an advisory capacity and will remain a strong advocate for the contribution the Medicines Patent Pool can make to improved access to medicines for those living with HIV.
Arrangements for Recruitment of New Executive Director
The Pool is now announcing a search for the Executive Director position, with further details available here.
In order to ensure continuity through the transition, Chan Park, the Pool’s General Counsel, has agreed to serve as Interim Executive Director. Once the permanent position is filled, Chan will return to his post as General Counsel.