Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines :

Affordability is a key determinant of access to medicines. Patents and other intellectual property rules can constitute a major barrier to access by creating market monopolies on medicines and health products leading to excessive prices that are out of reach of people in need or their governments.

During the early years of the HIV epidemic, only few patents on ARVs have been requested/granted in the Middle East and North Africa region. This enabled to ensure access to the first generation of ARVs in generic version in most our countries. However, today, patents are on the rise in our region considered now as an emerging market for the pharmaceutical industry.

ITPC-MENA has been working intensively since its creation to increase awareness on the impact of intellectual property on access to medicines. Our work include: conducting research on patent situation of key medicines, building capacities and supporting local organizations in the field; and advocating for the use by governments of the public health safeguards included in international agreements in order to protect public health and access to medicines.