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Patent Pooling Enhances rather than hampers Aids Treatment

Jul 20. 2015
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Re: "Medicine patent pool could impair compulsory licensing, experts fear", National, July 11.
As head of policy for the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), I attended the International Trade and Health conference in Bangkok last week to discuss our approach to brokering public-health licensing for crucial HIV medicines. Thus, I would like to clarify a few points about our model. 
First, MPP licensing agreements benefit the vast majority of high-prevalence countries, home to between 87 and 93 per cent of people with HIV in the developing world. These agreements do not bar access to medicine but rather open markets by enabling generic manufacturers to sell low-cost antiretrovirals in countries they could previously not supply. Moreover, the terms of our licences are compatible with the use of compulsory licences (CLs), allowing MPP sub-licensees to sell generic drugs in countries that have issued CLs. Licences negotiated by the Medicines Patent Pool also include other public-health safeguards and spur innovation by ensuring that manufacturers can combine many medicines from different companies into one pill or fixed-dose combination. 
The MPP is a public-health organisation, supported by the UN system, and negotiates agreements to encourage broad access and better health outcomes.  
Esteban Burrone
Head of Policy, Medicines Patent Pool 

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