Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany invests in innovation to provide patients with new medicines and to improve current therapies. A prudent approach is needed when evaluating intellectual property.
In the context of this approach, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany supports the principles of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), including the Doha declaration and Article 31f, and refrains from filing any patent applications relating to pharmaceuticals in least developed countries.
We believe that patent pools can be a suitable method to develop and market products for NTDs. Therefore, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has no general objections to joining patent pools in appropriate circumstances, in particular for the development of drugs for neglected diseases.
Also, we believe that voluntary licensing can be an appropriate tool for improving access to medicines. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will consider opportunities for non-exclusive voluntary licensing providing fair and reasonable compensation for all interested parties, particularly to increase access and affordability of products in least developed countries.