Upstream Access and Policy Consultant

Call for applications

Upstream Access and Policy Consultant

Location: Washington D.C or its environs

Contract: Consultancy from February to December 2023 

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to, and facilitate the development of, life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Through its innovative business model, MPP partners with civil society, governments, international organisations, industry, patient groups, and other stakeholders, to prioritise and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations.

To date, MPP has signed agreements with 18 patent holders on 37 medicines and other health technologies and almost 27 billion doses of treatments have been supplied by MPP licensees in 148 countries.

MPP was founded by Unitaid, which continues to be MPP’s main funder. MPP’s work on access to essential medicines is also funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). MPP’s activities in COVID-19 are undertaken with the financial support of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Government and SDC.

For more information, please see our website,

Position Overview/Context

As part of its new Strategy, MPP aims to strengthen its engagement with public research organizations and funders of health-related research and development in order to ensure that equitable access considerations are incorporated at earlier stages of development for important health technologies. In addition, MPP seeks to deepen its engagement with policymakers in the United States to strengthen U.S. government support for the work of MPP. In this context, we are hiring an Upstream Access and Policy consultant to be based in the United States, preferably in the Washington D.C. area. Working closely with MPP’s Geneva-based Legal and Policy & Advocacy teams under the leadership of the General Counsel and the Head of Policy Strategy and Market Access, the consultant will support MPP’s upstream access work, as well as engage with policymakers and influencers in the U.S.

Main Duties/Responsibilities

  • Undertake a landscaping exercise of other initiatives planned or in existence that share MPP’s mission of incorporating upstream access commitments for early-stage health technologies
  • Build and strengthen alliances with civil society, academic institutions and other key stakeholders engaged in upstream access work
  • Engage with universities, public research organizations, and funders of health research and development to advocate for greater consideration of downstream access considerations in LMICs
  • Work with MPP staff and Board to define and refine strategic goals for the upstream access workstream
  • Attend meetings and conferences relevant to MPP’s upstream access work
  • Engage with U.S.-based policymakers and influencers to promote the work of MPP
  • Identify opportunities for MPP to participate in key national/regional events and policy processes taking place in the US and neighbouring countries
  • Suggest opportunities to strengthen MPP’s relationship with various agencies of the U.S. government, US-based international organizations (e.g. PAHO) and other key stakeholders


  • Prepare a landscape analysis of parallel initiatives related to upstream access; draft engagement strategy based on the landscape
  • Develop MPP’s organizational goals and targets for the upstream access workstream for presentation to the MPP Board
  • Obtain commitments from universities, other public research organisations, and funders of health R&D to better incorporate access considerations into their licensing and funding agreements
  • Prepare materials for MPP engagement in key events and policy processes and draft reports on such events/processes
  • Assemble other reports relating to stakeholder engagement


Knowledge/Professional experience:

The Upstream Access and Policy consultant must have:

  • Experience in negotiating and drafting legal instruments designed to facilitate access to health technologies in low and middle-income countries
  • Knowledge of access to medicines and public health issues in low- and middle-income countries
  • Excellent understanding of intellectual property rights and their interface with public health, innovation, and access to medicines
  • Excellent advocacy and communication skills
  • The ability to autonomously organize own work and plan deliverables
  • The ability to synthesize information
  • Excellent people skills
  • Stakeholders’ engagement experience
  • Experience in public speaking


Experience working with governments and/or familiarity with policy processes (in particular with the various nodal agencies of the U.S. government)

Professional background:

  • A minimum of 7 years of practicing both legal and advocacy / policy work on issues relating to access to medicines, preferably within both the international and the U.S. contexts.

Education and special training:

  • Advanced degree in law (Juris Doctor or equivalent)

Use of Languages:

  • Native-level fluency in spoken and written English essential.
  • Knowledge of other UN languages would be an asset.

MPP respects all individuals regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, HIV status or disability. All qualified applications are welcome.

If you recognise yourself in this description and wish to support the MPP in its mission to expand access to public health, please send a cover letter and C.V. to including “Upstream Access Consultant” as reference in the subject line. Candidates will be assessed on a rolling basis.

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