Intellectual Property Expert and Activist Joins ITPC global

Dr. Othoman Mellouk has been appointed as the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition’s (ITPC) Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines Lead. Othoman’s role at ITPC includes coordinating a global consortium funded by UNITAID for three years from February 2015. The project seeks to remove intellectual property barriers that prevent people from accessing HIV treatment in middle-income countries.
The campaign will use law reform and the public health safeguards of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to reduce prices and increase access to specific second- and third-line antiretroviral drugs. It will also engage activist communities of people living with HIV and their allies, so they can jointly hold their governments to account to deliver on the right to health. To support this goal Othoman will lead our work to strengthen the capacity of communities to advocate within, often complex, intellectual property frameworks.
Before joining ITPC Global, Othoman coordinated ITPC’s regional advocacy initiatives in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, and strengthened capacity of community activists to advocate for intellectual property rights. Prior to his work at ITPC MENA, Othoman was engaged in Morocco with the Association de Lutte Contre le Sida (ALCS). He has published several articles and reports about access to medicines in Morocco, and the MENA region, and was actively involved in research on monitoring access to treatment with the Treatment Monitoring and Advocacy Project of ITPC (formerly TMAP).
“Othoman is a tireless advocate for access to treatment with a particular focus on intellectual property rights,” explains ITPC’s Executive Director, Christine Stegling. “We are delighted to have him on board and leading our advocacy and campaigns to make HIV treatment affordable and available to all who need it.”
“I am happy to devote myself entirely to issues of intellectual property,” explains Othoman. “I think the best place to work on these issues on behalf of communities is at ITPC. I am excited to be part of the global team”.
About ITPC:
ITPC is a global coalition of HIV treatment activists formed in 2003 to respond to the needs of communities worldwide. Structured in eight regions, the global network is driven by individual activists, peer support groups, grassroots networks, community-based organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Each of these entities share our values and vision and come together to address issues around access to treatment issues in their countries, regions and at the global level. The Coalition includes organizations and networks run by key populations – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI), sex workers and people who use drugs – as well as others marginalized within the current HIV response, such as women, girls and migrants. As a Coalition rooted in the Global South, ITPC established its global office in Botswana in early 2015.