First step in Upgrading Resource to Include All Patented Treatments on the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List

Geneva, 12 December 2017 — The Medicines Patent Pool today announced the expansion of MedsPaL, a comprehensive resource for information on the intellectual property status of priority medicines in developing countries, to patented treatments on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Model List of Essential Medicines (EML). Data on patents for certain medicines to treat chronic myeloid leukaemia, breast cancer and other cancer indications have been added to its HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis medicine database. MedsPaL now covers 6,800 national patent applications in more than 110 countries for more than 70 priority treatments.

“Simplified access to accurate patent information on medications that meet important needs in national health systems is imperative,” said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool. “We are pleased to augment the content of MedsPaL to ensure public health actors have the information they need to procure and supply a range of essential medicines to patients.”

The MPP has added patent information on seven medications – bendamustine, bevacizumab[1], dasatinib, imatinib, nilotinib, rituximab and trastuzumab to MedsPaL as a first step in incorporating additional data on patented medicines on the WHO’s EML. For some of these medicines, key patents have expired, but a number of relevant secondary patents remain.

“The expansion of this database to all patented essential medicines is a powerful tool for countries as they move to improve access to treatment and strive for universal health coverage,” said Mariangela Simao, WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals.

MedsPaL includes patent and licensing status data collected from national and regional patent offices from around the world and from data disclosed by the pharmaceutical industry. Information on regulatory data exclusivity is collected from medicines regulatory agencies.

To support the updating of MedsPaL, the MPP has signed collaborative agreements with the European Patent Office (EPO), Argentina’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Chile’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI), Dominican Republic’s National Office of Industrial Property (ONAPI), Ecuador Industrial Property Institute (IEPI), El Salvador’s National Registry Center (CNR) and South Africa’s Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).

Unitaid funded the creation of MedsPaL and continues to support its development for HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis medicines. Funding provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for MPP’s feasibility study on the potential expansion of its licensing activities into patented essential medicines made the upgrade of MedsPaL to include other EML treatments possible.

The MPP’s HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis activities are fully funded by Unitaid.

About the Medicines Patent Pool

The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, the MPP partners with industry, civil society, international organisations, patient groups and other stakeholders to prioritise, forecast and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with nine patent holders for thirteen HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, two hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals and a tuberculosis treatment. The MPP was founded and is funded by Unitaid.

For more detailed information on a given patent or its interpretation, MedsPaL users are encouraged to contact national patent offices or consult legal counsel.


Katherine Moore

Head of Communications
Medicines Patent Pool
Tel: +41 22 533 5054 | Mobile: +41 79 825 4786

[1] Listed on the EML for off-label use, namely for age-related macular degeneration