Medicines Patent Pool: first research funder announced

TAG press release

Earlier this year, in July, UNITAID formed an intellectual property–sharing scheme for antiretroviral drugs. This project is targeted to scaling up access to antiretrovirals drugs in the developing world.

Called the Medicines Patent Pool it aims to simplify licensing processes, and encourage the development of fixed drug combinations and paediatric formulations.

In September, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it would be the first research funder to contribute to the scheme.

Treatment Action Group’s executive director, Mark Harrington welcomed this step. “By becoming the first research funder to license medical patents to the Medicines Patent Pool, the NIH has taken a historical step towards helping facilitate equitable global access to medical innovations made with taxpayer funds to fight diseases of global concern such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.”

Sources and further information:

  • TAG press release: Treatment Action Group statement on first anti-HIV drug license to Medicines Patent Pool from U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH). (September 2010).
  • Asher Mullard interviews Ellen ‘t Hoen, Medicines Patent Pool’s executive director in Nature Medicine.
  • Mullard A. Straight talk with…Ellen ‘t Hoen. Nature Medicine 16, 1351 (2010) doi:10.1038/nm1210-1351. Published online 6 December 2010.

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