Projected savings through public health voluntary licences of HIV drugs negotiated by the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)

PLoS One. 2017 May 25;12(5):e0177770. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177770. eCollection 2017.


The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) was established in 2010 to ensure timely access to low-cost generic versions of patented antiretroviral (ARV) medicines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) through the negotiation of voluntary licences with patent holders. While robust data on the savings generated by MPP and other major global public health initiatives is important, it is also difficult to quantify. In this study, we estimate the savings generated by licences negotiated by the MPP for ARV medicines to treat HIV/AIDS in LMICs for the period 2010-2028 and generate a cost-benefit ratio-based on people living with HIV (PLHIVs) in any new countries which gain access to an ARV due to MPP licences and the price differential between originator's tiered price and generics price, within the period where that ARV is patented. We found that the direct savings generated by the MPP are estimated to be USD 2.3 billion (net present value) by 2028, representing an estimated cost-benefit ratio of 1:43, which means for every USD 1 spent on MPP, the global public health community saves USD 43. The saving of USD 2.3 billion is equivalent to more than 24 million PLHIV receiving first-line ART in LMICs for 1 year at average prices today.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / economics*
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Commerce / economics
  • Drug Costs
  • Drugs, Generic / economics
  • Drugs, Generic / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Licensure / economics*
  • Negotiating
  • Nonprescription Drugs / economics*
  • Nonprescription Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Public Health / economics*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents
  • Drugs, Generic
  • Nonprescription Drugs

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.