Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Once Again, Doing Well -- And Doing The Good. . . Isentress® Access For Limited Means HIV+ Children Globally

The Medicines Patent Pool announced this morning that Merck, via MSD, has granted non-exclusive licenses in up to 92 limited means countries, for pediatric raltegravir dosings.

This is both moral, and smart, business. Merck follows on the heels of its iDesign HIV Awareness and patient assistance programs with this humanitarian effort. My hat is off to the team that made it happen. From ABC News, then:

. . . .Drugmaker Merck & Co. has granted a free license allowing one of its HIV medicines to be made and sold inexpensively for use in young children in poor countries hard hit by the AIDS virus. . . .

The deal, announced Tuesday, lets any generic or brand name drug manufacturer make low-cost pediatric versions of Merck's raltegravir for sale in 92 low- and middle-income countries, according to the Medicines Patent Pool. The group, backed by the United Nations, works with brand-name drugmakers to find ways to make their HIV medicines still covered by patents available in developing countries for a fraction of the price charged in Europe or the United States. . . .

Of course, MPP officials have renewed their call for Merck to make the life-saving drug available to adults, under a similar license. I don't expect that Kenilworth will agree to that. There is just too great a risk of it being pirated, and resold in the post industrial world -- undercutting Merck's perhaps $1 billion invested in bringing Isentress® to market, globally.

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