Why Are These Patents Important?

Here is a rundown of the drug patents we’d like Johnson & Johnson to include in the Medical Patent Pool and how it can save lives:

Darunavir (DRV)
Brand name: Prezista
This drug is a relative newcomer and when used in combination with other antiretrovirals seems to be much stronger than other drugs in its class. There are currently very few of these drugs that we can offer. Darunavir is more effective against HIV than the other drugs in this group. Its current price from Tibotec in some developing countries is US$ 1095 per patient per year which does not include the price of a booster drug that has to be purchased alongside. This cost is far too high for patients and will price them out of treatment as they fail on their current treatments and come to need new drug options. That’s why it’s very important to get the patents of this drug in the pool.

Brand name: Intelence
This a newer generation drug from an old class of antiretrovirals that form the core of combination therapy for HIV treatment. As a newcomer in this class of drug, it is able to beat some resistant strains of the HIV virus that other drugs in its class cannot. Putting the patents to this drug in the pool would give patients who’ve failed on earlier treatment more options to continue treatment and stay healthy.

Currently in clinical trials
Rilpivirine belongs to the same class of drugs that forms the core of combination therapy for HIV treatment. Although this drug is still in the early stages of development, it shows signs of being very potent and can be used in lower doses than other, existing, drugs in its class - which could lead to it being produced at lower cost than other drugs in its class. Another big advantage is that it can be taken once daily, thus cutting down the number of pills that patients have to take each day and making sticking to the complex treatment course much easier.

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