Colombia takes significant next step to expand people’s access to affordable HIV treatment, and moves forward with compulsory license for HIV medicine dolutegravir

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MSF Bogotá/Geneva, 6 February 2024 – On Friday, the government of Colombia took a historic step towards issuing its first-ever compulsory license (CL) to overcome patent barriers to HIV treatment and import less expensive generic versions of the HIV medicine dolutegravir without permission from the patent owner, ViiV Healthcare (a joint venture of GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Shionogi). The step by Colombia’s Secretariat of Trade and Industry invites applicants to make use of the CL for dolutegravir for generic supply, meaning that, within the next ten days, manufacturers need to express an interest to supply the drug to Colombia under this CL. The Colombian government has already established the royalty rates that that the manufacturers would need to pay to the patent owner for the use of dolutegravir without the authorization of the patent owner, and has determined that the CL would be in effect until at least April 28th 2026 or for as long as i) the patents for dolutegravir are valid; ii) the public interest reasons for the CL remain; iii) the access goals are unmet. Colombia’s actions make use of a legitimate mechanism enshrined in international law, and come after more than 120 civil society organisations, academics, public health experts, and activists called on the Colombian Minister of Health, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo to support expanding access to dolutegravir.  

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