On 12 July, 2011, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced an agreement with Gilead Sciences for the licensing of its antiretroviral drugs tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), emtricitabine (FTC), elvitegravir (EVG), cobisistat (COBI) and a combination pill comprising all four drugs. The MPP, UNITAID and several of the media have heralded the agreement as an important moment in improving access to medicines in the developing world.
However, a review of the licenses raise a number of serious issues that could impact the access to medicines movement within the broader context of patent law reform and trade policies.
In collaboration with the International Treatment Prepardeness Coalition (ITPC), an international coalition of people living with HIV/AIDS devoted to advocacy on HIV/AIDS treatment access, I-MAK has prepared a briefing paper which analyses the licenses and sets out what the potential broader implications are to access and patients. The paper also raises a number of pertinent questions about the role of the MPP and the process under which the licenses were entered into. The Briefing Paper – The Implications of the Medicines Patent Pool and Gilead Licenses on Access to Treatment can be downloaded here.