GSK Eases IP Rights For Poorest Countries, Considers Patent Pooling For Cancer 31/03/2016 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines initiative continues its work, the GlaxoSmithKline company today announced steps to further help bring innovative medicines to poor countries. The global medicines manufacturer said it wishes to widen access to its innovative new medicines around the world. The company, which already set tiered pricing, data-sharing, and “innovative partnerships,” said it recognises that improved access “requires a flexible and multi-faceted approach to intellectual property (IP) protection,” according to a press release. GSK is evolving its graduated approach to filing and enforcing patents so that IP protection reflects a country’s economic maturity, said the release. “For Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Low Income Countries (LICs), GSK will not file patents for its medicines, so as to give clarity and confidence to generic companies seeking to manufacture and supply generic versions of GSK medicines in those countries.” “For Lower Middle Income Countries (LMICs) generally, GSK will file for patents but will seek to offer and agree licences to allow supplies of generic versions of its medicines for 10 years.” A small royalty on sales is envisaged for those countries, said the release. For the rest of the countries, GSK “will continue to seek full patent protection.” Furthermore, GSK said it intends to commit its future portfolio of cancer treatments to patent pooling and ” will explore the concept with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to help address the increasing burden of cancer in developing countries.” “GSK would be the first company to take this step.” “Changes to patents and IP systems will not solve the multi-faceted challenges of improving healthcare in developing countries,” it said. “In cancer for example, improving outcomes in developing countries requires better funding, improved screening and diagnosis, more cancer doctors and better hospital services as well as access to treatments.” Public health advocates Knowledge Ecology International applauded the GSK decisions and said Sir Andrew Witty (CEO of GSK) “has shown exceptional leadership.” In an announcement, KEI said, “The decision by GSK to license patents on cancer drugs to the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is welcome and impressive news.” Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Witty, who recently announced he will be stepping down, is a member of the UN High-Level Panel. The panel is meeting this week behind closed doors on Long Island, New York to start drafting its report due in June. “All of the MPP licenses apply to a limited number of countries, and do not address all of the important access challenges,” KEI said. “For this reason, it has been important that the MPP licenses have also allowed products manufactured under an MPP license to be exported to countries outside of the licensed territory, where there is no patent or where compulsory licenses have been issued.” “We also expect the GSK licenses for cancer drugs to permit exports outside of the territory, where the exports are otherwise lawful in the importing country.” “Other companies, such as Roche, Novartis, Bayer, Astellas, and BMS, with important oncology drugs should begin to engage on expanding access to their patented medicines, beyond just HIV and HCV drugs,” KEI urged. Image Credits: GlaxoSmithKline Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."GSK Eases IP Rights For Poorest Countries, Considers Patent Pooling For Cancer" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.