Patent database an “invaluable step towards furthering access”
Confusion over what HIV medicines are patented and in which countries can have a profound impact on the work of organisations who procure those medicines for resource poor settings. Since its launch in April 2011, the Medicines Patent Pool Patent Status Database for Selected HIV Medicines has aimed to provide a comprehensive portrait of the patent status of critically important HIV medicines throughout the developing world.
The free-to-use database is the most complete single source of such information in the world, and was compiled with the help of national patent offices and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
In order to further ease access to the data, the Patent Pool will now be making the database available via spreadsheet [xls].
Nine new countries added to the database; several major 2012 updates
The database has been updated to include patent status information for nine new countries: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, and Turkey. This brings the total number of countries covered to 76. Information is gathered for 71 different HIV medicines patents related to 24 antiretroviral drugs.
The database is also publishing 2012 updates on patent status in Armenia, China, India, Mexico, South Africa and the Ukraine.
In the year since the database’s launch, it has proven a useful tool for procurement agencies and other public health actors around the world. A selection of their statements appear below.
Statements from Key Users of the Patent Status Database
“UNICEF’s aim is to have as complete, a factual picture as we can on patents for HIV medicines in developing countries, which can affect whether the medicine can be sent to a particular country. The Medicines Patent Pool’s Patent Status Database for Selected HIV Medicines takes an invaluable step towards furthering access to treatment of HIV/AIDS by amassing information from numerous patent registries and jurisdictions into an easily navigable resource available to the public.” – The United Nations Children’s Fund
“The Medicines Patent Pool database is an essential impartial reference source for Global Fund Principal Recipients to understand the patent status of ARVs in their country – and it should be further expanded to include more countries.” – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
“Knowing the patent status of different ARVs is important when looking at whether or not there are barriers for treatment providers to import these drugs into a particular country. The patent status database is an incredibly useful resource as it provides the most comprehensive pool of the available information on patent statuses, and combines this into one easy to use search engine.” – Médecins Sans Frontières
“In the midst of a current patent regime that is at times not so transparent, this database is a great and valuable tool for players in the field, and one we regularly check as part of our procedures for determining a patent status. The Medicines Patent Pool is doing a great work in navigating through this maze and coordinating with partners, mounting the puzzle and presenting it in a user-friendly way, which is ultimately allowing us to focus more of our energy into the actual delivery of HIV medicines to the ones who need it.” – IDA Foundation
“The patent status database is a very helpful tool that provides easy access to patent information that is otherwise hardly available and difficult to obtain. Our procurement specialists use the tool as a starting point in determining the best value supply option for clients.” – i+Solutions
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