Increasing access to patented medicines with the pharmaceutical sector.

2 billion people worldwide do not have access to all 460 essential medicines, including 50 patented therapies that are often not even available in low-income countries. The Medicines Patent Pool negotiates voluntary licenses with patent holders including Swiss companies that it grants to multiple generic manufacturers to reduce prices for low-income settings. The Swiss support enables the Pool to expand its operations beyond HIV and tuberculosis to other treatments like for cancer and diabetes.

Pays/région Thème Période Budget
Monde entier

Renforcement des systèmes de santé
Maladies non transmissibles
Santé & droits reproductives
01.11.2018 - 31.12.2022
CHF  1’991’438

Substantial progress in access to life-saving medicines for poorer people in low- and middle-income countries could be made especially for HIV, malaria and TB treatments. However, access to essential products for cancer, heart diseases, reproductive health or diabetes must also be improved.

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), established in 2012, pursues an innovative, voluntary approach to improve access to life-saving, patented medicines that builds on collaboration with patent holders such as pharmaceutical companies. The model is based on public health-oriented voluntary licenses that the patent holder grants the MPP, which in turn the MPP licenses out to multiple generic manufacturers, several years prior to patent expiry. In return, the patent holder may receive a fair royalty fee.

The MMP model fits key Swiss values and interests because its approach promotes voluntary, collaborative solutions with the pharmaceutical industry for treatment areas where patents result in higher medicines prices, while ensuring the quality of medicines and protection of intellectual property rights.

Objectifs Increase access to quality-assured, safe, efficacious and affordable patented essential medicines and technologies for people in low and middle-income countries.
Groupes cibles

Primary beneficiaries are people in low and middle-income countries who are in need of patented, life-saving medicines and other health technologies  which are either not at all available in their national health system or are only available in the private market at relatively high out-of-pocket costs.

Secondary beneficiaries are countries and funders who save money when purchasing MPP-licensed medicines. Tertiary beneficiaries are patent holders and generic manufacturers who benefit from royalty fees and from selling generic versions in LMIC, respectively.

Effets à moyen terme

Outcome 1: Intellectual property on patented essential medicines (as listed by WHO or likely to be added to the WHO Essential Medicines List) is licensed out to MPP on voluntary, public-health oriented terms.

Outcome 2: Quality-assured generic versions of patented medicines (as listed by WHO or likely to be added to the WHO Essential Medicines List) are being developed.

Outcome 3: Transparency of Intellectual Property status of all patented essential medicines for low and middle-income countries is enhanced.


Principaux résultats attendus:  

Outputs related to outcome 1:

Output 1: Prioritisation of patented medicines for in-licensing by MPP completed.

Output 2: Preparation for successful licence negotiations with patent holders completed and enabling environment created.

Output 3: Public health-oriented licence agreements with patent holders concluded.

Outputs related to outcome 2:

Output 4: Public health-oriented sub-licence agreements with generic manufacturers concluded.

Output 5: Licence management processes at MPP level implemented.

Output 6: Preparatory work for uptake of generic versions of originator medicines laid and opportunities provided by licences actively communicated.

Output related to outcome 3:

Output 7: Up-to-date reliable intellectual property status information on patented essential medicines publicly available.

Principaux résultats antérieurs:  

SDC has financed the initial feasibility study (that recommended the expansion of the MPP mandate to other patented medicines) as well as the preparatory work for the implementation of the broadened mandate. The results are:


1.     An evidence-based, rigid methodology to prioritise patented medicines to be in-licensed by the MPP was developed and a list of 16 target medicines/health technologies for cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, multiple sclerosis and sickle cell disease was established.

2.     Preliminary analysis and discussions with patent holders on opportunities to provide voluntary licenses were conducted.

3.    Exploratory work on MPP’s potential role in licensing in and managing products related to anti-microbial resistance was carried out.

Direction/office fédéral responsable DDC
Crédit Coopération au développement
Partenaire de projet Partenaire contractuel
Organisation suisse à but non lucratif
  • Autre organisation suisse non-profit

Autres partenaires
Coordination avec d'autres projets et acteurs Medicines regulatory project: World Health Organisation, Swissmedic.
Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF    1’991’438 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF    1’250’566
Phases du projet Phase 99 01.01.2020 - 31.12.2027   (Phase en cours) Phase 1 01.11.2018 - 31.12.2022   (Phase en cours)