Voluntary Licensing Agreement for New-Generation Cancer Medicine Broadens Patient Access in Morocco and Egypt
In what is a significant milestone in broadening the availability of cancer treatments in Morocco and Egypt, biopharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis recently established a voluntary licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to increase patient access to a medicine used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Notably, this is the first time any company has licensed a patented cancer medicine through the MPP. Globally, CML accounted for about 15% of newly diagnosed cases of leukemia in adults as of 2018. However, while the number of people diagnosed with CML has increased, there has been a drop in associated deaths. New-generation cancer treatments have contributed to improved health prognoses for people diagnosed with CML Voluntary licensing agreements help even more patients across the globe benefit from medical advancements.
Morocco and Egypt have seen notable progress in shepherding new, innovative cancer treatments, but access challenges persist. In response to access challenges in some middle-to-low-income countries, including Morocco and Egypt, Novartis and other pharmaceutical manufacturers have joined the Access to Oncology Medicines (ATOM) Coalition. ATOM is a global initiative with public, private, and non-governmental partners working to improve local capacity for diagnosing cancer and facilitating better quality cancer care.
Both ATOM and the recent voluntary licensing agreement are significant steps toward getting more patients around the world treated for CML and other cancers, helping to bring health forward in the region and across the globe.