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Charity campaigns for drug companies to pool patents for newer HIV drugs

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 02 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4056
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

    The international medical aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling on nine of the world’s largest drug companies to pool their patents on newer HIV drugs and to make them available in developing countries.

    The campaign is inviting the companies, which include Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer, to place the patents for a list of HIV drugs into a patent pool recently set up by Unitaid, an international agency that partners with organisations including the World Health Organization and UNAIDS to purchase drugs for developing countries.

    The concept of a patent pool is that it brings together several patents held by different companies and makes them available to others for production or further development. MSF describes the idea as a “one stop shop” for patents, …

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