Gilead Sciences has become the first pharmaceutical company to sign a licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool to increase access to HIV and Hepatitis B treatment in developing countries...

"The licensing agreement is a positive step but we have some reservations; it excludes middle-income countries like Brazil and China, which will now have to issue compulsory licences if they want to manufacture the drugs still in development," Tido von Schoen-Angerer, executive director of Doctors Without Borders Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, told IRIN/PlusNews.

In addition, MSF says the licensing agreement limits "price-busting competition" by confining manufacturing to India, meaning narrow supply options for active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to make the drugs.

"This is a more managed form of competition where countries with the ability to produce drugs - such as Brazil - have been left out," Von Schoen-Angerer said. "We hope that in the future, the patent pool will be able to improve the agreements to allow for production and sourcing of raw materials from different countries..." Read full article