Millions of people die unnecessarily each year because life-saving medicines are overpriced.

Tactics employed by many pharmaceutical companies are designed to extend monopolies and keep drugs expensive.

Make Medicines Affordable (MMA) believes it is every person’s right to access the treatment they need, and that intellectual barriers (IP) preventing this must be removed.

MMA works to bring down the price of HIV, TB, Hepatitis C, and potential COVID-19 medicines, specifically in middle-income countries (MICs). The majority of people living with HIV are from MICs. The income classification of these countries means they are routinely left out of schemes, yet are far from able to pay what monopoly holders demand. This forces countries to ration.

Extortionate price tags result in choices. The ‘choice’ to sell your house or go without meds, or a government’s ‘choice’ of which citizens to treat if you can’t treat them all.

No country should be forced to decide WHO to treat. They must treat EVERYONE.

The MMA campaign is led by the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) and partners, made up of civil society organizations from over 20 countries. They include patients, lawyers, health experts and activists, all choosing, instead, to challenge the IP measures that benefit profit but not people.

Let’s get one thing clear. We are pro-innovation.

For years the pharmaceutical industry has purposely conflated patents with innovation, repeating its mantra that high prices are necessary due to the costs of research and development (R&D). This is not true.

There is clear evidence showing the huge difference between the COST and PRICE of medicines, while still allowing for profit, and, conversely, the practice of extending patents actually stifles innovation, leading to less medical breakthroughs.

After all, when a company can get away with extending or ‘evergreening‘ a patent beyond the original 20 years there is less incentive to invest in new drugs.

MMA challenges abuses of the patent system. Our strategies include making successful legal and technical interventions, in-line with international trade agreements, and working to strengthen patent laws to create long-term change.

We believe that effective and sustainable responses to HIV, TB, hep C and COVID-19 cannot be achieved without tackling the overpricing of medicines.

Our work is transforming the patent landscape by setting precedents that reduce the price of drugs so access can increase. While we maintain a clear focus, our impact goes beyond these four diseases and middle-income countries. Our strategies can be adapted by any country on any disease or drug.

We won’t stop until everyone can access the life-saving medicines they deserve.