Medicines Patent Pool looks at hepatitis C

Greg Perry, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool, told delegates at the World Hepatitis Summit in Glasgow this week that the organisation was considering how it could act to speed up and expand access to direct-acting antivirals for lower- and middle-income countries, where around 85% of people with hepatitis C are estimated to live.

The Medicines Patent Pool was established with the support of UNITAID, the international drug and diagnostics purchase fund for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, to negotiate voluntary licensing agreements with pharmaceutical companies that would allow widespread access to low-cost antiretroviral drugs for HIV treatment. The Medicines Patent Pool was also designed as a mechanism to overcome barriers to the development of fixed-dose drug combinations of products from more than one manufacturer, for efficient delivery of treatment in lower- and middle-income countries.

Since its launch in 2010 the Medicines Patent Pool has negotiated voluntary licensing agreements with all the major pharmaceutical companies that allow some or all of their antiretroviral products to be copied by generic manufacturers for sale at greatly reduced prices in lower- and middle-income countries.


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