The MPP: Working In Partnerships to Increase Access to Medicines

As part of our partnership model, the MPP has been organising a series of events with other stakeholders in the public health field covering key issues such as: The stimulation of innovative models to promote access and innovation; industry response to the new World Health Organization HIV guidelines; and how to meet the critical needs of children living with HIV.

Our aim is to bring various stakeholders, including industry and other public health groups, together to find common objectives and complimentary actions that will make a significant impact in increasing access and innovation in treatments for people living with HIV. We believe that our role in creating opportunities for patent sharing through voluntary licensing agreements is an important one, but is best done as part of a wider series of actions involving various actors.

A debate on new models for stimulating access to innovative health products was held at an MPP panel at the World Trade Organization’s Public Forum on 3 October. Speakers presented various ways for addressing deficits in both innovation and access – through non-profit development of medicines for neglected diseases at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), through innovative licensing models such as the MPP and WIPO Re:Search, and through various proposals to delink the costs of research and development of medicines from the final medicines prices. A written summary of the event is available here.

Industry readiness to meet the urgent increase in the number of people needing treatment under the new WHO Treatment Guidelines was discussed at our joint MPP and World Health Organization Satellite in Copenhagen 23-25 September. Medicines regulators, originator and generic pharmaceutical companies, and intergovernmental agencies looked at various ways to address this new public health challenge.

Together with DNDi and UNITAID, the MPP held on 7 July at the International AIDS Society meeting in Malaysia a satellite event that looked in detail at the clinical challenges in diagnosing and treating HIV, the needs for intellectual property sharing to develop new fixed-dose combinations and licensing opportunities that could aid children in getting the medicines they need sooner and more efficiently. An estimated 3.4 million children under the age of 15 lived with HIV at the end of 2011 – and to-date, most of them lack access to needed medicines. A full programme and presentations from this event can be found here.

At the forthcoming ICASA conference in Cape Town from 7-10 December2013, the MPP will continue its work with other stakeholders by hosting a joint side event with the International AIDS Society, focused on ways to increase impact on access to HIV medicines in low- and middle-income countries. The importance of IP sharing through voluntary licensing to increases access and innovation in treatments for people living with HIV in developing countries will be a major theme of our intervention and in Cape Town, where we also plan to launch our new HIV priority medicines report.