Access to HIV medication

Boehringer IngelheimBoehringer Ingelheim has repeatedly and clearly stated that patents must not prevent access from life-saving drugs for HIV patients living in resource limited settings. In line with this and in order to accelerate access to anti-retroviral medicines, the company has initiated non-assert declarations in May 2007, well before the idea of the UNITAID patent pool was conceived. The declarations have been welcomed by all stakeholders including NGOs such as medicines sans frontieres, patient organisations and the press (e.g. article by Andrew Jack, "HIV drug price slashed" Financial Times, 15 May 2007).

The non-assert declaration means that the company will not enforce its patent rights against the agreement partner. The company has further waived the provision of a nominal royalty fee under the access policy so the partnering companies can supply the nevirapine-containing drugs without any payments to Boehringer Ingelheim. This goes far beyond the conditions of the patent pool currently under discussion. Generic manufacturers whose nevirapine product and production site have been pre-qualified by WHO are enabled to supply in total 78 countries which are either Least Developed Countries (LDC) according to the UNDP classification, or low income countries according to the World Bank classification and all other countries in Africa. The drugs can be produced in any country for supply of the these 78 countries on the combined list. Another important aspect is that by providing only WHO pre-qualified generic producers with the non-assert declaration the quality of nevirapine is guaranteed. This is crucial in countries with weak or non-existent Drug Regulatory Authorities and is in line with our Corporate Responsibility. This policy has been praised in particular by patient interest organisations from resource-limited countries affected by low-quality products.

Being aware of our responsibility and actively striving for the idea of a pool Boehringer Ingelheim welcome the UNITAIDs initiative. We have been in constructive discussions with the promoters of the pool idea for some time and we will carefully observe future developments. For now we are certain that our approach as promoted for instance also by academic institutions is the better option. We have committed ourselves in our publicly available HIV Policy to also apply this approach to our other anti-retroviral medication tipranavir. We are exploring options how best to collaborate with potential generic producers.

In the past Boehringer Ingelheim granted Voluntary Licenses to several companies in Africa enabling them to produce generic nevirapine for low income countries as per World Bank classification. In order to further improve and facilitate access to nevirapine, Boehringer Ingelheim will not enforce its patents and offers interested manufactures listed on the WHO prequalification list non-assert declarations allowing them to supply nevirapine-containing medicines for Eligible Countries. These Eligible Countries are defined as all low income countries according to the World Bank classification of economies, all countries classified as Least Developed Country (LDC) according to the United Nations and all African states which are not classified as low income of LDC like South Africa, Botswana.

About Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 138 affiliates in 47 countries and 41,300 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the independent, family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2008, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 11.6 billion euro while spending one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

Most Popular Now

GSK reaches agreement with Novartis to acquire ful…

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) today announces that it has reached an agreement with Novartis for the buyout of Novartis' 36.5% stake in their Consumer Healthcare Jo...

Canadian neuroscientists say daily ibuprofen can p…

A Vancouver-based research team led by Canada's most cited neuroscientist, Dr. Patrick McGeer, has successfully carried out studies suggesting that, if started early enou...

First proof a synthesized antibiotic is capable of…

A "game changing" new antibiotic which is capable of killing superbugs has been successfully synthesised and used to treat an infection for the first time - and could lea...

Merck partners with Medisafe to help improve medic…

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced a new collaboration with US-based Medisafe to help its cardiometabolic patients better manage medication ...

Phase III data in The Lancet show Novartis siponim…

Novartis today announced that the full results from the Phase III EXPAND study of oral, once-daily siponimod (BAF312) in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) w...

Taking a standard prostate cancer drug with food b…

By taking a high-cost drug with a low-fat meal - instead of on an empty stomach, as prescribed - prostate cancer patients could decrease their daily dose, prevent digesti...

North and south cooperation to combat tuberculosis

Tuberculosis can be cured and could be eradicated. For this to happen, however, patients have to receive the right treatment. Researchers at the Makerere University and t...

New immunotherapy for lung cancer shows promise of…

In a groundbreaking development, results from a recent clinical trial to treat lung cancer show that a novel immunotherapy combination is surprisingly effective at contro...

Boehringer Ingelheim and OSE Immunotherapeutics an…

Boehringer Ingelheim and OSE Immunotherapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative immunotherapies, have announced a collaboration and excl...

Personalized tumor vaccine shows promise in pilot …

A new type of cancer vaccine has yielded promising results in an initial clinical trial conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and...

Lokelma approved in the EU for the treatment of ad…

AstraZeneca today announced that the European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for Lokelma (formerly ZS-9, sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) for the treatment...

New targeted therapy schedule could keep melanoma …

Skin melanoma, a particularly insidious cancer, accounts for the vast majority skin cancer deaths and is one of the most common cancers in people under 30. Treatment for ...