The first time a community-based organization in Georgia files an IP opposition

Tibilsi, Georgia, 2018. © Gemma Taylor/Make Medicines Affordable

By July 9, 2021, a total of 8,911 HIV/AIDS cases have been registered in the Infectious Diseases, AIDS & Clinical Immunology Research Center, in Georgia, including 6,656 men and 2,255 women. Most patients are within the age group of 29-40. 4,441 patients developed AIDS. Although Georgia currently belongs to HIV/AIDS low prevalence countries, stigma and other obstacles to early diagnosis – such as a decentralized approach to treatment in primary health care facilities – still play a big role in preventing people to seek medical care. 

MMA’s partner in Georgia, the organization Network TBpeople has submitted the first patent opposition against (A SOLID PHARMACEUTICAL DOSAGE FORMULATION (lopinavir/ritonavir) on June 30, 2021, to address the evergreening practice which that patent represents.

“Late diagnosis is still a big problem in the country.” says Mari Chokheli, project manager at the Network TBpeople.

The organization has started a unprecedented case in Georgia and, as a community-based organization, applied to the National Center for Intellectual Property “Sakpatenti” with a request to re-examine the Georgian evergreening patent for lopinavir/ritonavir (Solid pharmaceutical dosage formulation).

“This was a fruit of hard and complex work. The Network TBpeople hopes that this case will open a precedent, as it is the first time a community-based organization applied to National Intellectual Property Center Sakpatenti and had successful dialogue on the issue. It opens a door for future similar actions on medicine access and affordability. It is exciting for the organization experts to be the first ones to actually exercise their granted by law right.” says Ms. Chokheli.

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