Global Fund calls upon drug companies to “share without delay” AIDS drug patents with the Medicines Patent Pool

In a October 7, 2010 letter, Professor Michel Kazatchkine, the Executive Director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has written to Dr. Jorge Bermudez, the UNITAID Executive Director, to discuss the Medicines Patent Pool.

Kazatchkine congratulates UNITAID for the announcement that an agreement had been reached between U.S. National Institute for Health and the Medicines Patent Pool for the voluntary license of the NIH patents rights on an HIV-AID drug, Darunavir.

Denouncing the high price that the Global Fund recipients are paying for this product, in some cases USD 10,000 per person per year, the Global Fund letter notes the importance of the Medicines Patent Pool, and its objective of reducing treatment costs by facilitating a more efficient and sustainable licensing of essential patented technologies and promote generic competition in developing countries.

The letter concludes by urging other public institutions and pharmaceutical companies to “share without delay their patents on this and other antiretrovials with the Medicines Patent Pool, in order to facilitate access to these treatments at the lowest possible price for countries in need.”

A PDF version of the letter is available here.


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