Gilead adds TAF, a drug used in HIV and Hepatitis B treatment, to the Medicines Patent Pool for Ukraine. It may result in cheaper treatment, however, our partner will continue to oppose the unmerited patent, which if invalidated would result in even further, fairer, reductions.
On 23 August 2017, biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences announced that it will extend Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) license for several medicines, including TAF and sofosbuvir to the territory of Ukraine. Patents and patent applications on both medicines have been opposed by the All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.
This decision was adopted under significant pressure from Ukrainian civil society. Prior to this announcement, in December 2016, the Network submitted a patent opposition to the Kyiv Commercial Court demanding the invalidation of the TAF patent. Court hearings on the case started in July 2017.
The extension of the license means that Indian, South African and Chinese pharmaceutical companies will be allowed to export TAF to Ukraine, however, in return, they will pay royalties to the patent holder. Therefore, a significant decrease in TAF price is expected in the near future as several competing companies will enter to the market.
Despite this development, the Network will continue its efforts to invalidate the TAF patent. This would bring more competitors to the market and eventually decrease price of the product even more.