The drive behind the Patent Pool was to find a solution to the lack of access to newer HIV/AIDS medicines and to combination treatments for people living in developing countries. Now that the first company licence to the Pool has been announced, we are encouraging other companies to join the Pool, so that it can realise its potential- but we are calling on them to go further than Gilead in terms of not excluding any developing countries from licences. If countries are excluded then we would call on them issue compulsory licences to gain access to the needed medicines.
Excerpt from MSF's press release on announcement of Gilead licence to Medicines Patent Pool:
An agreement announced today by pharmaceutical company Gilead to licence several HIV/AIDS drugs to the Medicines Patent Pool could improve access to medicines for patients, but excludes several countries with large numbers of people living with HIV, the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.
“This agreement is an improvement over what other big pharma companies are doing to ensure access to their patented AIDS medicines in developing countries,” said Michelle Childs, Policy and Advocacy Director at MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. “But some caution is needed because in several key areas, Gilead is not going beyond the status quo. More needs to be done to fulfil the vision of the Patent Pool to provide a solution to all people living with HIV, so this licence should not become the template for future agreements.”