Here’s how a patent pool could work….

Sent to DS from Pete Masters, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) UK, thanks Pete.

Updated: added video

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The cost of HIV medicines is rising all the time, meaning that many people with HIV will not be able to afford life-saving medicines. Unless……

There is a way to produce new drugs at affordable prices: Join us in pushing for the patent pool. This way drug companies share their drug patents with the pool, so they still get their royalties ….but at the same time other companies can get hold of these patents to make cheaper drugs. Everyone wins.

Competition between different companies is the best way to make drugs more affordable. You can make sure competition happens by using the law to limit or overcome the barriers that stand in the way of generic competition; companies can also help build a new way to create drugs at affordable prices: by participating in the patent pool.

Click here to sign and email a letter to the drug companies that hold the patents on the drugs we need, urging them to put their patents in the pool.


Why we need a patent pool:

We need HIV drugs that will keep patients alive longer: Newer, better antiretrovirals are already used by patients in the US and Europe, but aren’t available to people in developing countries or are simply too expensive. We need these newer drugs, with fewer side effects, to gradually replace older treatments. Plus, as everyone on long-term treatment will eventually develop resistance to the drugs they are taking, all patients will at some point need to switch treatments, to newer drugs that continue to fight the HIV virus. By making these drugs more affordable, a patent pool will ensure the delivery of these newer drugs for people in the developing world.

We need three-in-one HIV drugs that are easier to take: Treating HIV is complex and often requires patients to take multiple drug cocktails. But by combining the different drugs into one easy-to-take pill, patients are more likely to stick to their treatment.  At the moment, it’s a struggle for generic producers to develop these much needed fixed-dose combinations, because different companies own the patents of the various drugs. By putting these patents under collective management, a patent pool will make it possible for many more combination therapies to be developed.

We need HIV drugs for children: Two million children are living with HIV but less than 10 per cent of them have access to the medicines they need.  All too often, there are no child formulations for drugs, as drug companies don’t have the incentive to develop them when the overwhelming majority of children in need live in developing countries. By putting HIV drug patents in the pool, we remove one of the barriers blocking the development of child formulated drugs and drug combinations.

Click here to watch animations that explain how a patent pool can deliver the medicines we need.

Right now, there is a patent pool in the making. The international drug financing agency, UNITAID, is working on making it a reality. But for it to work, we need the pharmaceutical industry to play ball. Please write to them and urge them to participate:

Click here to sign and email a letter to the drug companies that hold the patents on the drugs we need, urging them to put their patents in the pool.

Further information from MSF’s Access to Essential Medecins:

The End of the Line: Thembisa Mkhosana from South Africa explains how she has run out of treatment options. A patent pool could help deliver newer, affordable medicines.

Here is a list of the drugs we want in the pool and why we want them. (click through to ‘drugs profile intro’ – page with list of companies to click through to drug profiles)


Here’s how a patent pool could work….

September 30, 2009

Help MSF bring down the price and increase the quality of drugs for people with HIV in developing countries. GET INVOLVED HERE – – takes less than a minute!

For more information on this issue generally, please visit MSF’s Access for Essential Medecines web site at or contact them via their twitter feed at

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The problem with monopolies….

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more about “The problem with monoplies….“, posted with vodpod



MSF’s Dr Tejshri on patent pools

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more about “MSF’s Dr Tejshri on patent pools“, posted with vodpod

2 thoughts on “Here’s how a patent pool could work….

  1. A paradigm shift is needed away from more and more drugs. Nutrition, photoluminesent therapy (irradiation therapy )and the Beck blood purifier are better alternatives for HIV treatment than more poisonous drugs, no matter how new or costly.

  2. Wise words from a career designer inventor (all I can offer after thousands of ‘products’ and many millions of $$):

    Ideas are the public domain. Patents are pure greed, bad for all. Kill patents, deconstruct intellectual property (including music, you fake-artist hippocrites! People who buy copyrighted ASCAP BS support the worst of amerigaah.

    Eliminate royalties, create for the common good for the joy of the creation and the good it can bring. To hell with the licensed ownership of ideas! Do good and you will be good. Creativity is not a saleable commodity.

    The profit motive is corrupt to its selfish core. Someone knocks you off? Smile…be honored, and Move on! Do a better one!!

    If you crave recognition (celebrity bogus corruption), be better than your last, they will commend you and know. Weak egoed people who patent and copyright and blaze logos and market on Mad ave? IGNORE THEM! Dont believe the hype.

    And better to be disgusted by people who crave wealth and fame.

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