UCLA Considers Underserved Populations When Licensing Medical Research Discoveries
UCLA is committed to its public-service mission of transparent and equitable biomedical research that enhances understanding of disease and leads to new treatments. Discoveries made in UCLA’s laboratories are available as medications worldwide.
While licensing patents is essential to the development of federally approved medications, UCLA is concerned that affordability may limit access to medications by underserved populations.
To promote availability of treatments made possible by UCLA research, the university requires a licensee – if and when it receives U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a medication – to provide a plan intended to support affordable access in low- and middle-income countries.
The affordable access provision of UCLA license agreements is a collaborative effort that arose from discussions among UCLA leadership, student advocacy groups and the Medicines Patent Pool. Backed by the World Health Organization, the Medicines Patent Pool works with governments, the pharmaceutical industry, patient groups and others to license medicines and pool intellectual property to prioritize and license new and existing medications for low- and middle-income countries.
The provision offers an opportunity to facilitate discussions among UCLA’s licensees and stakeholders experienced in facilitating affordable access to medications in low- and middle-income countries. UCLA believes that encouraging discussions early in a licensee’s marketing and commercialization planning provides the greatest likelihood that licensees will take meaningful steps to address affordability.
The affordable access provision has been utilized in license agreements since July 2020.