To ensure IP rights do not hinder access and uptake of new treatments
It is widely recognized that intellectual property (IP) rights can create roadblocks throughout the innovation cycle, limiting the possibility of collaboration, follow-on R&D, production, or equitable access to end-result products.
To address these barriers, DNDi’s Intellectual Property Policy is based on two guiding principles that inform all contract negotiations:
- the need to ensure that drugs are affordable and accessible in an equitable manner to patients who need them; and
- the desire to develop drugs as global public goods whenever possible.
DNDi also publishes model contracts or templates of the collaboration and licensing agreements that it signs with public and private partners, including with pharmaceutical companies.
DNDi has managed to secure non-exclusive, permanent, irrevocable rights to the drugs it jointly develops with its partners for neglected diseases, with the aim of making them accessible to all patients and ensuring all knowledge generated through the R&D process is publicly shared. The aim is to provide policy makers and global health experts with useful insights, in light of debates rekindled by the COVID-19 pandemic on ensuring that medicines and vaccines developed with public funding guarantee equitable access. This question is also at the core of the ongoing and difficult global negotiations on a future treaty for pandemic preparedness and response.
‘Including access conditions on publicly funded R&D is a key way of operationalizing equity. DNDi’s publication of its licensing model contracts can provide insights on how terms and conditions can be applied in R&D collaborations.’Michelle Childs, Policy Advocacy Director, DNDi
Our call for change
DNDi advocates for public and philanthropic research funders to build in strong IP and licensing terms into grant agreements that ensure equitable and affordable access to resulting innovations.
Gold standard terms for equitable, affordable access
Using its negotiating experience with pharmaceutical companies and others, DNDi has defined ‘gold standard’ licensing terms to ensure equitable and affordable access to treatments, including, whenever possible:
- terms such as perpetual royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub-licensable licenses to DNDi in the contractually defined target disease(s);
- worldwide research and manufacturing rights;
- commitment to make the final product available at cost, plus a minimal margin, in all endemic countries, regardless of income level; and
- non-exclusivity, enabling technology transfer and local production to multiply sources of production and decrease price of product.
Our call for change
DNDi advocates for countries’ use of flexibilities available under the TRIPS agreement to enable production or importation of affordable medicines.
How do we manage IP and licensing?
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