Ukraine: First civil society organization to oppose Merck’s patent application ( MK-8591) on the grounds of “obviousness”

On 28 May 2019, 100 Percent Life (the Network) submitted an opposition to the Ukrainian Patent and Trademark Office against Merck’s patent application on MK-8591. 

MK-8591 is a promising ‘nucleoside reverse transcriptase translocation inhibitor’ for HIV treatment, which is currently in the clinical trials phase. 

The Network believes that what Merck is trying to patent is obvious for chemistry specialists and therefore does not meet patentability criteria. 

In Ukraine, as well as in other countries around the world the pharma company is trying to monopolize the medicine by submitting numerous patent applications. Despite being unmerited, if patents were to be granted it could block patients’ access to affordable life-saving treatment.

The patient community in Ukraine is determined to prevent an unnecessary and costly monopoly.

“We call on the Ukrainian Patent and Trademark Office to take our arguments into consideration and to make a decision in the best interests of Ukrainian patients,” says Sergey Dmitriev, the Network’s Head of Policy and Advocacy. It applies to all countries, irrelevant of what pharma companies view a country can ‘afford’. “Regardless of the income level of the country, all patients must have access to the high-quality treatment,” says Dmitriev.

Upon receipt of the opposition, examiners specialized in pharmaceuticals will evaluate the arguments of both parties and decide on the future of Merck MK-8591 patent application.