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Founder of the Medicines Patent Pool, Ellen t Hoen’s shares the lethal consequences of never-ending epidemics in her patent wars keynote.
A patent is a copyright of intellectual property that restricts others from reproducing, in this case, drugs to sell, distribute or for any other purposes. Claims for intellectual property have created patent wars worldwide, intensifying the competition and consequently increasing the prices to necessary drugs required for treatment. Despite the intellectual copyrights, countries like India did not recognize these patents and created their own low-cost generic anti-viral medications to treat HIV and AIDS, which ultimately brought down the cost of the original patented medication.
Hoen’s Medicines Patent Pool attempts to rectify and eliminate this ongoing war between medical patents in hopes to provide affordable treatment and save more lives as opposed to earn more money. Patent holders can voluntarily participate in the pool, which licenses them out to manufacturers so they can provide affordable treatment to patients in need.