Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

What is Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)

Mains level: Not Much


Central Idea

  • The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has entered into sub-licence agreements with Indian and Indonesian companies to produce generic versions of the cancer drug Nilotinib.
  • Nilotinib is used in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia, a type of blood cancer.

What is Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)?

  • Mission and Purpose: The MPP is a United Nations-backed organization focused on increasing access to life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries.
  • Addressing IPR: The MPP works to overcome barriers related to intellectual property rights and patents that limit the availability and affordability of essential medicines.
  • Voluntary Licensing Agreements: The MPP negotiates voluntary licensing agreements with pharmaceutical companies to allow the production of generic versions of patented medicines.
  • Production of Affordable Generics: By securing licenses, the MPP enables qualified manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries to produce and distribute affordable generic medicines.

Need for MPP

  • Collaborative Approach: The MPP collaborates with governments, non-profit organizations, civil society groups, and pharmaceutical companies to address global health challenges and promote access to medicines.
  • Focus on Priority Diseases: The MPP’s efforts are particularly significant in diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and other priority areas where access to affordable medications is crucial.
  • Sustainable Supply of Generic Medicines: Through licensing agreements, the MPP ensures a sustainable supply of quality-assured generic medicines, promoting market competition and expanding treatment options.
  • Improving Health Outcomes: The MPP’s work reduces the burden of high drug costs and enhances access to life-saving treatments, ultimately improving health outcomes and saving lives.
  • Benefit for Low- and Middle-Income Countries: The MPP’s initiatives directly benefit patients in low- and middle-income countries by increasing access to affordable medicines and reducing disparities in healthcare.

Recent agreements signed

  • Licence Agreement with Novartis: In October 2022, the MPP signed a licence agreement with Novartis Pharma AG, the Switzerland-based pharmaceutical corporation that holds the patent for Nilotinib.
  • First Sub-Licence Agreements: The recent sub-licence agreements with Indian companies Eugia, Hetero, and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, along with the Indonesian firm BrightGene, mark the first such agreements for a cancer treatment drug by the MPP.


  • Generic Versions of Nilotinib: The licensed manufacturers can produce generic versions of Nilotinib.
  • Manufacturing: The selected manufacturers have the rights to manufacture generic Nilotinib in India and seven middle-income countries.
  • Supply in 44 Territories: The non-exclusive licence agreement allows for the supply of generic Nilotinib in 44 territories covered by the agreement, subject to local regulatory authorisation.
  • Affordable Treatment Option: Charles Gore, the executive director of the MPP, states that the production of generic Nilotinib will provide an affordable treatment option for people diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in the covered countries.
  • Increasing Access to Cancer Medication: The MPP’s initiative aims to improve access to essential cancer medications by reducing costs and increasing availability.

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