31 July 2015 | Statements

Unitaid and Medicines Patent Pool publish HIV drug patent survey

UNITAID and the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) today published an updated survey of the patent status of WHO-recommended and new HIV medicines in developing countries that helps countries and international health organizations plan the best possible treatment options for the people they serve.

The second edition of Patents and Licences on Antiretrovirals: A Snapshot Report gives an overview of patents and licenses of specific antiretrovirals covering more than 86 developing countries and lists patent expiry dates, licenses to date, and information about relevant combinations of drugs.

“As part of our shared mandate to scale-up HIV treatment, UNITAID and the MPP support full transparency of the intellectual property status of HIV medicines in the regions in which we work,” said Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of UNITAID.

Medicines surveyed range from abacavir (ABC), the WHO-recommended treatment for infants and children licensed to the MPP from ViiV Healthcare in 2013, to Gilead Sciences’ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) licensed to the MPP in 2011.

“MPP has been focused on overcoming the difficulties in getting a full picture of the patent landscape of these antiretrovirals,” said Greg Perry, MPP’s Executive Director. “We have dedicated resources to obtaining information and to bringing in legal and technical expertise, and have been working closely with UNITAID, our founder and funder, to assess IP challenges around the development and competitive procurement of these medicines.”

The Patent and Licences on Antiretrovirals report, first published in 2014, is an offshoot of the highly successful MPP Patent Status Database, the world’s single largest repository of patent status information on antiretrovirals in developing countries.

Given the interest in last year’s report, MPP and UNITAID decided to publish an update taking stock of  the rapidly evolving patent and licensing status of different ARVs.  Both organizations hope the publication will continue to be of value to stakeholders working in the HIV treatment and access to medicines field.

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