The lack of information around patents on medicines continues to be a problem for public health actors seeking to increase access to more affordable treatments.

Pharmaceutical companies often refuse to divulge details of patents they hold, citing that the information is proprietary.

Many patent offices still do not make information publicly available. Even where information is accessible, it is rarely in a form that allows users to identify which medicine the patent relates to.

Improving transparency around patents on medicines can serve a number of issues, including:

  • being the difference between procuring more cost-effective generic versions and paying higher prices for brand name versions;
  • furthering our understanding of patentability standards in different countries;
  • providing a sense of the levels of innovation in the field;
  • identifying patenting strategies used by companies, such as patent clustering to ward off competition;
  • changing how companies and patent offices provide information on patents in relation to medicines.

To help fill this lacuna, I-MAK will be making publicly available patent information from as many countries as possible on key medicines.

If you have any requests for patent information relating to a specific medicine feel free to contact us and we will see what we can do.


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