Non-exclusive voluntary licensing to support affordability and supply

Gilead’s early, systematic approach towards non-exclusive voluntary licensing helps efficient scale up and affordable supply of patented medicines in low- and middle-income countries.


  • What: Gilead exhibits leading practice in non-exclusive voluntary licensing of all the companies evaluated in the Access to Medicine Index 2016.
  • Details: This includes agreeing licensing of all of their relevant patented portfolio, both via the Medicines Patent Pool and bilaterally, early in the product lifecycle (pre-registration) and on access-friendly terms.
  • Change: Gilead also shows preparedness to move beyond HIV/AIDs in its licensing approach.
  • Scope: Gilead also agrees comparatively broad geographic scopes for its licences.


Looking closer

Amidst heavy criticism for the prices of its new hepatitis C treatments in developed and some middle-income country markets, Gilead uses non-exclusive voluntary licensing widely to support access in low- and other middle-income countries. Gilead licenses its entire on-patent portfolio of products that target diseases in scope of the 2016 Index (HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C).

Typically, it has done so prior to registering its products, enabling the swifter entry of generics into markets within licensing territories. Critically, Gilead also licenses directly to generic medicine manufacturers, achieving comparatively pro-access terms, clarity and geographic reach. The newer hepatitis C licences have not been criticism-free, however: they exclude certain middle-income country markets. They also included anti-diversionary provisions which were viewed as having negative potential effects.

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