Efforts of Medicines Patent Pool (hereinafter referred to as
"MPP"); a United Nations backed public health
organisation, founded in July 2010, and based in Geneva,
Switzerland are praiseworthy.
The lives of millions of people in poor developing countries
depend on access to affordable medicines. However, unfortunately
most of the world's population does not receive the essential
medicines in the extent they need and that too at critical times.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), 37 million
people (globally) require HIV treatment but only 15 million people
living in low and middle income countries have access and out of
the 3.3 million children, only 32% receives the therapy. Also,
Hepatitis C is a major public health threat; with majority of them
living in low, middle income developing countries.
With number of patients growing organically, any single
manufacturer can't meet the mandate. At the same time, demand
for newer drugs/medicines keeps on increasing as HIV medicines
gradually becomes less effective over time for patients developing
resistance. Moreover, it is also difficult to develop tailor made
medicine for specific population (like children) and to develop
combination of multiple medicines in to one pill (FDC-Fixed Dose
Combination) because of individual patents on different
MPP, a public health organisation funded by the United Nations
offers a solution to all these problems. It negotiates with owner
of the patented medicine (pharmaceutical company, research
institute, government universities etc.) to voluntarily share their
patents which let another party/producer to manufacture and sell
generic versions of the medicine in poor developing countries or to
develop adapted formulations. MPP also eases the development and
production of FDCs. The pool also works for Patent owners as it
ensures them fair royalty and provides them the way to contribute
to global health. Most importantly, MPP works for people living
with HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis/Tuberculosis by bringing prices to
affordable levels and helping them to provide new medicines.
Things have come a long way from the earlier days of MNC's
fighting against generic production and national government who
endorse them, to the new arrangement where big pharmaceutical
companies eager to share their patents. All credit goes to the
efforts of MPP; addition to their constant working to increase
availability of medicines of HIV, Hepatitis C and Tuberculosis in
poor developing countries, it has signed a sub-licensing agreement
with six Indian pharmaceutical companies, Hetero Labs Ltd, Laurus
Labs ltd, Lupin Ltd and Zydus Cadila or Cadila Healthcare Ltd to
sell generic ARV (antriretrovirals) and Hepatitis C drug
This deal would all set to establish a new era of innovative
production in the Indian pharmaceutical industry. It will help
Indian companies to avoid the stress of seeking voluntary license
from innovator firms, or apply for compulsory licenses in those
markets where MPP would supply the drug. Most notably it will help
battle the disease at our home as we are third in position with the
highest number of HIV affected people.
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This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
The Patents Act 1970, along with the Patents Rules 1972, came into force on 20th April 1972, replacing the Indian Patents and Designs Act 1911. The Patents Act was largely based on the recommendations of the Ayyangar Committee Report headed by Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar. One of the recommendations was the allowance of only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.
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