Patent Pooling In Public Health
The Cambridge Handbook on Public-Private Partnerships, Intellectual Property Governance, and Sustainable Development (Chapter 5)
16 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2019 Last revised: 25 Apr 2019
Date Written: January 1, 2018
In recent years, patent pooling has emerged as a mechanism to address some of the innovation and access challenges relating to health technologies. While patent pools have existed for several decades in other fields of technology, it is a relatively new concept in the biomedical and public health fields, where it has been adapted to pursue public health objectives. The patent pooling model represents a new type of public–private partnership (PPP) in health that relies on the licensing of patents on access-oriented terms to enable multiple third parties to develop and/or supply patented health technologies in a given geography.
This chapter first outlines the concept of patent pooling as it has evolved over recent years in the public health field. It then reviews its practical application in HIV through the establishment of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), and its subsequent expansion into hepatitis C and TB. The MPP is the first patent pool in public health designed to enhance access to affordable medicines in developing countries through the negotiation of access-oriented and transparent voluntary licenses with the pharmaceutical industry. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the potential applicability of the patent pooling model in other areas by identifying the kinds of public health challenges that such a model could contribute to addressing in the context of meeting the health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Keywords: Medicines, Access, Innovation, Patent, Patent Pool, Public-Private Partnerships, HIV, Viral Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, Essential Medicines
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