The Medicines Patent Pool Announces Expansion of its Governance Board

Oct 27, 2015, 05:00 ET from Medicines Patent Pool

GENEVA, October 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

Four new experts in access to medicines, intellectual property and industry will help guide foundation in coming years  

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced an expansion of its governance board today with the appointment of four new members: Dr. Claudia Chamas, senior researcher at Brazil's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz); Dr. Michel Manon, former Director for Bristol-Myers Squibb; Dr. Brian Tempest, former Chief Executive Officer for Ranbaxy; and Ms. Jayashree Watal, Counsellor in the Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization.

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"It is my honour to welcome four distinguished new members to the board. For the first time we have, in Michel Manon and Brian Tempest, members with solid practical experience and an impressive record in both the generic and brand-name industries. We also have two equally eminent female members who are experts on intellectual property. Claudia Chamas brings an important perspective on these matters from Brazil and Jayashree Watal from India," said Charles Clift, the foundation's chairman. "With such strong credentials, we are confident that they will play a major role in steering the MPP over the next few years in its efforts to expand access to medicines in low- and middle-income countries."

Dr. Claudia Chamas has dedicated her career to studying the impact of intellectual property rights on access to medicines. In addition to her position as a researcher at Fiocruz's Centre for Technological Development in Health (CDTS), she has served as a representative of the Ministry of Health at the Brazilian Interministerial Group on Intellectual Property and as vice-chair of the WHO Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development (CEWG). Dr. Chamas is the author of numerous articles and book chapters covering international intellectual property policies, health innovation and technology transfer.

"The MPP mirrors my long term interest in managing IP for better public health outcomes," said Dr. Chamas. "I look forward to working with the team on its pro-access to medicines objectives."

Dr. Brian Tempest has spent more than 45 years working in the generic and originator medicines field and has managed healthcare businesses across four continents. He joined Ranbaxy Laboratories in 1995, serving as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer and was Regional Director-Far East and Regional-Director-Middle East & Africa for GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Tempest is currently an advisor to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He also holds non-executive director status in several Indian companies such as Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and Fortis Healthcare.

"It is a pleasure to join the MPP's governance board during such an important time in MPP's history," said Dr. Tempest. "As the MPP starts the second phase of its HIV work and explores new disease areas, ramping up its engagement with manufacturers will be essential. I welcome the opportunity to contribute my expertise in the area."

Dr. Michel Manon also comes to the MPP with a long tenure in the pharmaceutical industry. A medical doctor by training, he spent more than 30 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb in several senior roles, including as its Medical Director. Dr. Manon actively contributed to establishing BMS's access to medicines agenda in Africa, and worked in posts throughout the continent as well as in Asia and Europe. In 2011, he chaired a task-force for a research study in Russia on population attitudes towards health, which was later presented to the WHO Global Forum.

"I am impressed with MPP's achievements in forging agreements with all of the top pharmaceutical companies in the HIV space," said Dr. Manon. "An active and constructive dialogue among all public health stakeholders -including industry - is a key path to finding solutions for the unmet medical needs of communities in low- and middle-income countries."

Ms. Jayashree Watal is Counsellor in the Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization. She has more than 22 years of experience in the Indian government, working on policy, diplomacy, research and intellectual property rights issues.  From 1989-1990, she represented India at a crucial stage in the Uruguay Round TRIPS negotiations. Ms. Watal has published articles on issues related to the law and economics of intellectual property rights, including the book "Intellectual Property Rights in the WTO and Developing Countries."

"I welcome the opportunity to work with the MPP, an organisation that has successfully navigated the intersection between IP concerns and public health priorities in the developing world context," said Ms. Watal.

"I am honoured to welcome our prestigious new members to the governance board," said Greg Perry, MPP's Executive Director. "Their insight and counsel will ensure the rapid rollout of MPP-licensed medicines as well as progress in driving innovation for new technologies that can make a huge difference in treating millions of people."

Ms. Watal and Drs. Chamas, Manon and Tempest join five other members of the board: Charles Clift, former economist at the UK Department of International Development (DFID); Sigrun Møgedal, former Norwegian Ambassador for AIDS and Global Health Initiatives; Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi); Anban Pillay, Deputy Director General for South Africa's Ministry of Health; and, Anna Zakowicz, Board Member for the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) and Advocacy and Partnership Director for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Europe. The new nine member governance board met for the first time October 25-26 in Geneva.  MPP also benefits from an Expert Advisory Group comprising 12 leaders from diverse fields of HIV treatment and advocacy, civil society, academia, research and development and government.  

About the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) 

The Medicines Patent Pool offers a public health-driven business model that aims to lower the prices of HIV medicines and facilitate the development of better-adapted HIV treatments such as fixed-dose combinations and special formulations for children. Founded by UNITAID in 2010, the MPP works with a range of stakeholders - communities of people living with HIV, governments, industry and international organisations. To date, MPP has signed agreements for 12 antiretrovirals (ARVs) for countries home to 87-93% of people living with HIV in the developing world and for one medicine for an HIV opportunistic infection.

SOURCE Medicines Patent Pool