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Essential Medicines and Patents

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Copyright © DrugPatentWatch. Originally published at

Mark Schultz and Jaci McDole recently used DrugPatentWatch to complete a report on recent trends in the latest editions of the world health organization essential medicines list.

Some of their key takeaways were:

  • The percentage of patented medicines on the Essential Medicines List has steadily risen in
    recent years but remains relatively small. As of January 2020, 47 out of the 458 total items (10.3%) listed on the 21st edition Essential Medicines List are under patent somewhere in the world.
  • 20% of lower income countries surveyed do not have any active patents listed for the 47 patented medicines on the 21st Essential Medicines List
  • 80% of lower income countries have 50 or fewer active Essential Medicines List drug patents.
  • Approximately 20% of all active Essential Medicines List patents in lower income countries
    are subject to a Medicine’s Patent Pool license, bilateral license, and/or commitment to not
    enforce, with commitment to not enforce accounting 25% of that group
  • Cancer treatments have remained within the top three priorities for
    new additions to the Essential Medicines List throughout the three most recent editions

    You can read the full report at

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Copyright © DrugPatentWatch. Originally published at
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