On 3 October 2017 a conjoint initiative Pat-INFORMED of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was launched in Geneva. The stated aim of Pat-INFORMED initiative is to facilitate access and to key medicine patent information in particular for health agencies tasked with procurement of medicines.
IFPMA, the international trade association representing the research-based pharmaceutical industry, and WIPO have signed an agreement establishing the Patent Information Initiative for Medicines combining the industry’s work with the WIPO’s experience in organizing patent data from across the globe.
From the point of view of a pharmaceutical company the patent information is crucial for several reasons: companies use it to assess the prior-art and seek for new commercial opportunities to develop (freedom to operate, licensing agreements and other type of collaborations), they use it as a base for improvement in the field of medicine and, finally, generic companies use this information to plan product development and launch.
Generally, these professionals are advised by specialized intellectual property attorneys and lawyers. Other groups that are interested in patent information, like health authorities, NGOs and other entities engaged in the procurement of medicines often lack this opportunity.
Granted patents and published pending applications are publicly available for consultation worldwide, but linking this information to available marketed options represents an important workload for the most of the concerned professionals. Pat-INFORMED will link public patent information to registered medicines, helping procurement professionals and health professionals to build their procurement strategies more efficiently.
Despite patent information is publicly available, there was no any global database correlating directly granted patents and pending patent applications to commercialized medicines. Only few free gateways like the US Orange Book (the US Food and Drug Administration database which provides the details of the molecules that have obtained marketing approval and their expiry date) and some paid third party databases make these data available for consultation.
The initiative is foreseen to be publicly available online by mid-2018 and will provide patent information for some oncologic, HCV, cardiovascular, HIV, diabetes, respiratory therapy areas and also for products on WHO Essential Medicines List even if they are not included in the therapy areas listed above. At a second stage, the database is supposed to cover all available therapies, including the complex ones.