With strong international backing, in 2010 Unitaid founded the Medicines Patent Pool, the first voluntary licensing and patent pooling mechanism in public health. Initially focused on improving the HIV response, Unitaid’s Executive Board approved the MPP’s entry into the fields of hepatitis C and tuberculosis in 2015. Unitaid is the MPP’s sole funder for these activities.

The MPP is currently operating under its second five-year grant from Unitaid (2016-2020).

Access the Memorandum of Understanding (2016-2020)

About Unitaid

Unitaid is engaged in finding new ways to prevent, treat and diagnose HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria more quickly, more affordably and more effectively. It takes game-changing ideas and turns them into practical solutions that can help accelerate the end of the three diseases. The MPP is important in implementing Unitaid’s objectives by working with a range of organisations to license key medicines for generic manufacture.

Unitaid’s investments in the MPP have yielded 10.9 times the value of its funding, from price reductions of generic products. Savings are projected to reach 2.3 billion by 2028 for HIV medicines alone.

The MPP was created with the support of the innovative financing mechanism, Unitaid, to improve access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries.
Celso Amorim, Chair of the Executive Board at Unitaid


The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) funded the MPP’s feasibility study exploring the expansion of its mandate to include other patented priority essential medicines beyond HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis.

The SDC is now funding the MPP to implement its mandate expansion into patented essential medicines on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Essential Medicines List (EML) – and those with strong potential for future inclusion.

More on the SDC’s mission here.

Read press release.

The MPP model fits the Swiss approach to improving access because it promotes voluntary, collaborative solutions with the pharmaceutical industry for reducing prices of essential patented products, while ensuring the quality of those medicines, and protection of intellectual property rights. This is why we support the MPP in the realisation of its expansion programme.
Alex Schulze, Co-Head of SDC’s Global Programme Health

The Wellcome Trust funds the MPP to concentrate on the key elements integral to implementing the MPP’s expanded mandate, including developing an implementation plan for the MPP’s new five-year strategy and exploring the MPP’s role in relation to antimicrobial resistance.

Read The Wellcome Trust’s statement on equitable access to healthcare interventions here.

Read press release

Two billion people worldwide lack access to life-changing treatments – including medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tools. Wellcome spends around £1 billion each year to support research and drive reform to improve health for people around the world. The full benefits of innovations to improve health can only be realised if they reach the people who need them, especially those living in low- and middle-income countries. Practices such as voluntary licensing, patent pooling and equitable pricing are fundamental to increasing access to prevention, treatment and care. We are pleased to support the MPP in its efforts to speed access in low- and middle-income countries.
Alex Harris, Head of Global Policy at the Wellcome Trust
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