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First antiretroviral patent in global drug pool puts pressure on companies to follow suit

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 05 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5514
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has become the first holder of a patent on an HIV drug to grant a royalty free licence to a new patent pool, which has been set up to boost access to affordable HIV treatments. The move is expected to increase pressure on major drug companies to follow suit, experts have said.

The Medicines Patent Pool was established in July with support from UNITAID, a global health financing facility cofounded by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway, and the United Kingdom in 2006 and funded by a levy on airline tickets.

The patent licensed by NIH …

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