According to Lyudmila Reutskaya, the Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Inspection and Drug Supply Organization, “Belarus is included in the list of countries covered by voluntary licensing agreements of Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company, giving the right to purchase generic medicinal products at lower prices.”
This applies to cases when a patent holder agrees to grant a country the right to purchase the generic versions of drugs from other manufacturers rather than the original drugs directly from the patent holder. Such negotiations are conducted based on the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), an international organization.
In this case, Gilead Sciences, a giant of the biopharmaceutical industry, granted Belarus the right to buy the Indian-made generic drugs for the treatment of HIV infection. These are the medicines containing tenofovir dizoproxil fumarate (TDF), tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), cobicystate (COBI), and elvitegravir (EVG). These generics are manufactured by the reputable companies. Their products are approved by the Medicines Patent Pool and reclassified by the World Health Organization.
“Now, with the consent of the patent holder, we have the right to buy generic versions of these drugs from manufacturers that are included in MPP database. This will improve the access to such drugs, as well as reduce their purchasing cost,” said Lyudmila Reutskaya.
In addition, the Ministry of Health began the negotiation process with MPP to include Belarus in the voluntary licensing agreement with ViiV Healthcare on Dolutegravir (DTG).