Make Medicines Affordable: Covid-19 & TRIPS in 2020

ITPC’s work to Make Medicines Affordable involves 27 in-country partners united towards removing unjustified access barriers and preparing the market for the entry and uptake of new health products.

The campaign leverages evidence-based, intellectual property interventions to achieve price reductions for ARVs, TB medicines, and direct-acting antivirals in our target countries. We use Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) flexibilities and catalyze demand at the national level to prepare an enabling environment for the introduction of optimal generic medicines.

In 2020, we expanded our disease scope to include the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite restrictions related to the pandemic, our in-country partners held policy dialogues virtually with key stakeholders, national institutions, and the pharmaceutical industry, seeding ongoing conversation.

Our Impact

• We reduced the prices of 11 medicines in Belarus, Brazil, Guatemala, Moldova, Russia, Thailand and Ukraine. This generated US$102.6 million in projected health expenditure savings, doubling our 2019 projected savings of US$57.4 million.

• A total of 21 patent oppositions were filed, including six on potential medicines to treat COVID-19.

• Two countries, Belarus and Kazakhstan, received voluntary licenses for dolutegravir, expanding access to improved HIV treatment while preserving national health budgets.

• The consortium submitted 11 draft legal or policy amendments that contain public health safeguards in the following countries: Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Guatemala, Moldova, Russia, Thailand, and Ukraine. For example, Ukraine’s Parliament has adopted a new draft intellectual property law that is more favorable to access to treatment.

• A peer-reviewed journal article written by Andrew Hill, Junzheng Wang, Jacob Levi, Katie Heath, and Joseph Fortunak, titled “Minimum costs to manufacture new treatments for COVID-19”, was published in the Journal of Virus Eradication in April 2020.

Learn more: COVID-19 timeline 

View the ITPC Global Annual Review 2020 here.

Download the ITPC Global Annual Review 2020 as a pdf here.

You can read more about Make Medicines Affordable here.