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Medicines Patent Pool Signs Agreement with ViiV for Expansion of Access to Pediatric AIDS Drugs

AMSA welcomes the recent announcement of a collaboration between the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and ViiV to improve access to pediatric HIV medicines and stimulate creation of new pediatric formulations, including a license for the pediatric formulation of a crucial antiretroviral, abacavir, which will greatly expand access for at least 98.7 percent of children living with HIV.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by both parties greatly improves upon the previous licenses negotiated by the MPP and is the most far-reaching agreement yet between the MPP and a pharmaceutical company. In particular, AMSA would like to congratulate the MPP on specific provisions in the agreement: an expanded geographic scope of 118 countries as well as any country without a blocking patent for the abacavir sub-licenses as well as any pipeline product for pediatric use, a royalty-free and non-exclusive abacavir license, the ability to manufacture anywhere in the world, lack of restrictions on the procurement of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and finished product in the licensed territory, and a commitment to work with third-parties to develop fixed-dose combinations.

“While we applaud ViiV’s efforts in working with the Medicines Patent Pool to increase access to these life-saving medicines, we hope that continued negotiations will lead to similar, if not better agreements for drugs in their pipeline, such as dolutegravir for both children and adults,” says Reshma Ramachandran, AMSA’s PharmFree Fellow. “We hope that other companies including Johnson and Johnson, Merck, and AbbVie as well as GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer that launched ViiV will continue to work with the Medicines Patent Pool to further efforts to collaboratively maximize access to these drugs for patients worldwide.”

In December 2012, AMSA joined other organizations including Health Global Access Project, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, and Oxfam International to call upon pharmaceutical companies to enter into and conclude negotiations with the MPP.

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