UNITAID warmly welcomes the first licensing agreement between the Medicines Patent Pool and Gilead. This is a critical step to improve access to HIV treatment in developing countries, by allowing for generic production of needed medicines at more affordable prices as well as the development and production of other combinations that include the medicines covered by the license agreement.
Philippe Douste-Blazy, Chair of the UNITAID Executive Board, said at the press announcement in London today, "This is an historic day and a good day for people living with HIV/AIDS in developing countries.
UNITAID has put in place a mechanism that will make medical advances work for the poor, while compensating companies for sharing their technology. And today marks the first licensing agreement involving products that will make a huge difference to patients in developing countries."
UNITAID is proud to have established and funded the Medicines Patent Pool, which will be critical to overcoming intellectual property barriers to facilitate production of generic formulations, which will also be more efficient, better tolerated, easier to use and more affordable.
Since 2006, UNITAID has worked with various implementing partners to contribute to scaling up access to ARV medicines and tests in developing countries.
Today, more than 10 million people still require access to ARV treatments and their treatment regimens need to be simplified for more effectiveness (as recommended by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS in their Treatment 2.0 guidelines).
The agreements between the Medicines Patent Pool, originator and generic pharmaceutical companies will:
- be transparent;
- facilitate research on formulation including fixed doses combinations ;
- faster that bilateral negotiations between generator and generic pharmaceutical companies;
- facilitate the practical implementation the trips flexibilities.
UNITAID recognizes and is grateful for the leadership shown by Gilead Pharmaceutical Sciences and strongly encourages other originator and generic companies to follow suit and put their intellectual property at the service of global public health.