The MPP Intervention on Intellectual Property, 39th Meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board

December 7, 2016 

(As prepared)

PCB agenda Item

  1. Synthesis report of existing research and literature on intellectual property (IP)-related and other factors impacting the availability, affordability, and accessibility of treatment and diagnostics for HIV and co-infections in low and middle-income countries. The Board will receive a synthesis report on intellectual property Document: UNAIDS/PCB (39)/16.22

The MPP welcomes the UNAIDS report on intellectual property in document UNAIDS/PCB (39)/16.22

The report recalls paragraph 21 of the 2011 Political Declaration which encourages new mechanisms such as (q)“patent pools benefiting all developing countries, including through entities such as the Medicines Patent Pool, to help to reduce treatment costs and encourage development of new HIV treatment formulations”. More recently, the 2016 Political Declaration welcomed the expansion of MPP into hepatitis C and tuberculosis.

The report also recalls the recommendation in the CEWG report noting “Equitable licensing and patent pools [that] were also considered as attractive mechanisms to enhance access to innovation on equitable terms and/or with low transaction costs.” 

The MPP, the first voluntary licensing mechanism in public health, was established by UNITAID and provides one important avenue to enable faster access to new patented medicines in developing countries.  Among the principles of Treatment 2015, the UNAIDS report indicates the importance for Member States of (q)“taking advantage of products produced under licensing agreements negotiated through the MPP, so that generic competition could be sustained.”

We look forward to working closely with Member States to facilitate rapid scale-up of new treatment options recommended by the WHO. In this respect, the Medicines Patent Pool would like to inform delegates that we now have:

  • Negotiated access-oriented licences on 12 HIV medicines and one Hepatitis C medicine. This includes new HIV treatments such as dolutegravir and tenofovir alafenamide, as well as atazanavir, lopinavir/ritonavir and tenofovir disoproxil and new hepatitis C antiviral daclatasvir
  • We are currently working with 15 generic manufacturers to ensure there is competition for these products on the market
  • Our licenses include key access-friendly terms and conditions that will contribute to enabling generic procurement in up to 131 countries covering up to 94% of PLHIV in developing countries.  This includes 59 to 84 middle-income countries (depending on the licence).

It was also very encouraging to see the report of the UN High Level Panel on Access to Medicines noting that “Voluntary licences can be an important enabler of treatment access” and highlighting that “the level of transparency in licensing agreements negotiated through the UNITAID-backed MPP, in which all licences are publicly available, is laudable and rare.”

We would also like to inform delegates that in October 2016, the MPP launched a new tool called MedsPaL (Medicines Patent and Licences Database). MedsPaL provides unprecedented transparency on the IP status of HIV, TB and HCV medicines in developing countries. It includes information on patents, licences and data exclusivity in well over 100 developing countries. We are thankful for the support of the European Patent Office and for many national patent offices, including those of Chile and Dominican Republic, with whom we have collaboration agreements. In addition, a large number of civil society groups helped us to compile the data for this valuable public resource. It is available at www.medspal.org.

Today the MPP needs to work closer than ever with Member States to enable MPP licences to go further and to have more countries included in licence territories in an effort to speed new medicines to low- and middle-income countries at affordable prices.

Finally, the MPP remains at your disposal for any specific clarification about products or licences available for each country, as well as to work together with Member States and other stakeholders to identify local treatment needs and explore the possibility of supporting national efforts at scaling up treatment through its licences.

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