Results for Development: Final Report on Patent Pools

An analysis by think tank Results for Development concluded that the Medicines Patent Pool as established by UNITAID could speed up development of fixed-dose combination pills, paediatric medicines and heat stable formulations needed in resource-poor settings, as well as help stimulate generic manufacture of lower cost medicines. And that it will need a critical mass of companies to participate in order to succeed.

“We would urge more companies to join the MPP. We think the patent pool can be good for everyone involved — AIDS patients, poor country governments, AIDS donor organizations, and drug companies,” study authors David de Ferranti and Robert Hecht (president and Managing Director of Research for Development) wrote in the Huffinton Post following the study.

The Medicines Patent Pool was established to address a critical need — to address the places where intellectual property constitutes a significant barrier to access for antiretroviral medicines.

The report, “Patent Pools: Assessing Their Value-Added to Global Health”, assesses the contribution of two patent pool initiatives, to global health. Aside from the Medicines Patent Pool, the report considers the Pool for Open Innovation against Neglected Tropical Diseases, which has now been succeeded by the World Intellectual Property Organization under the name Re:Search.

Momentum could be building for the Medicines Patent Pool, the report says, but other pharmaceutical companies must show more willingness to join in order for the Pool to reach the critical mass of patents necessary to be as effective as it must be in order to address the needs of people living with HIV around the world.

If successful, the report says, the Medicines Patent Pool could help obtain better voluntary licensing terms from patent holders, reduce transaction costs to voluntary licensing, increase transparency in licensing practise, foster wider competition and lower prices, and encourage the faster development of fixed-dose combinations and paediatric formulations.

The report can be read in full here.

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