From September 25-29, the 5th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and Public Interest was held in Washington, DC. The “100% of Life’s” (the Network) expert Mykyta Trofymenko presented Ukrainian experience in appealing against patents that led to improving access to treatment.
The Network successfully implements the practice of contesting a patent for vitally important medications. Thanks to the patent opposition of “100% of Life” against pharmaceutical companies, the monopoly on modern drugs against hepatitis C, Sofosbuvir, was managed to remove. This contributed to an unprecedented reduction in prices for the drug, almost 22 times less! Today, Ukraine is able to cover all patients with hepatitis C from the state budget.
The expert told about this during the presentation of “Challenging Unmerited Sofosbuvir Patents in Ukraine”.
“The Network’s experience points out that patent opposition is an important tool that allows expanding competition in the market of medicines and thereby significantly improving access to vital medicines,” Mykyta Trofymenko said.
During the panel discussion “Challenging Unmerited Patents: Transparency and Collective Actions for Access to Medicines”, the expert also shared the Network’s experience in the field of contesting patents for HIV/AIDS drugs. He also gave professional advice to representatives of non-governmental organizations which are planning to file patent oppositions.
We’d like to remind that over the past two years, the Network has tried to appeal against an AbbVie’s monopoly on HIV drugs, Lopinavir/ritonavir, in the Ukrainian court. Due to this monopoly, the government has to overpay UAH 227 million annually. This year, activists have succeeded in an examination of patents that preserve a monopoly on medicines. The “100% of Life’s” experts are currently working on the implementation of patent reform in Ukraine too.
The Global Congress on Intellectual Property and Public Interest is one of the largest conferences in the field of intellectual property and access to treatment which brings together leading professionals in this field.