MSP in practice

An agreement on patent rights could soon lead to better access to tuberculosis (TB) drugs for millions of patients in countries of the Global South. As a result of the licensing agreement between Stop TB Partnership and Johnson & Johnson, treatment costs could be reduced from 45 dollars to 8 dollars per month.

Following the agreement between Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Stop TB Partnershipthe multi-stakeholder partnership’s own Global Drug Facility (GDF)  obtains the necessary licenses to tender, procure and supply a cost-effective version of the TB drug Bedaquiline for 44 countries of the Global South.

This demonstrates that partnership approaches pay off. Stop TB Partnership Executive Director Lucica Ditiu refers to the event as a historic breakthrough: “You can’t oversell how important and historic this is.” According to her, this milestone could only be achieved due to the well-coordinated and joint efforts of the stakeholders involved.

The campaign has also received significant support from the YouTube vloggers and entrepreneurs John and Hank Green and their online community (3.7 million subscribers on YouTube). The agreement was also perceived critically because of the exclusion of certain countries in the Global South, such as South Africa, India or Ukraine, which are severely affected by TB. Nevertheless, the collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and civil society advocates can serve as a model for future partnerships to address global epidemics and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Since 2001, the Stop TB Partnership aims to eradicate TB. Hosted by the UN, it operates on a global scale by engaging with more than 2,000 partner organizations from different sectors.

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