Fewer essential medicines on patent

May 3, 2022
  • The latest edition of the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List, the 22nd Edition (2021), has seen a decline in the percentage of patented medicines for the first time since researchers have been tracking the number. As of January 2022, 35 out of the 477 total items (7.3%) listed on the 22nd edition of the EML are patented ina middle or low income country.
  • 19% of lower income countries surveyed do not have any active patents listed for the 35 patented medicines on the 22nd EML. 83% of lower income countries have 50 or fewer active EML medicine patents.
  • Approximately 25% of all active EML patents in lower income countries are subject to an MPP license, bilateral license, and/or commitment to not enforce.