UCL adopts new humanitarian licensing policy to broaden access to essential medicines

8 October 2013

UCL makes public its policy, to make a commitment to promote the availability of healthcare-related technologies in developing countries and, through that, broaden access to essential medical care for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.

UCLB looks forward to working with UCL to implement its new policy which commits UCL to exploring every opportunity to include provison for humanitarian licensing when discussing the commercialisation of research with potential licensees. It will also guide the pursuit of patents for healthcare-related technologies in developing countries, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis so as to balance commercial goals with ensuring global access to cutting edge medical innovations.

The policy originates from the Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology, a document endorsed by nearly seventy universities and other interested parties in spring 2007 on broadening access to medical technologies originating from university research.

In recognition that a more concrete statement of principles was needed to guide our work, UCL has signed up to the Association of University Managers’ (AUTM) Statement of principles and strategies for the equitable dissemination of medical technologies, which have also been adopted by a variety of other international renowned institutions, including Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Edinburgh.

Commenting on the adoption of the new principles, Professor Stephen Caddick, Vice-Provost (Enterprise) at UCL, said: “World class universities have an obligation to ensure that they maximise the benefit of their scholarly activities for society, particularly in the area of medical research. I am delighted to announce the adoption of this policy and hope that it will attract partners to work even more closely with us to develop treatments for patients around the world.

We acknowledge helpful discussions with members of the Universities Alliance for Essential Medicines (UCL).

Professor Stephen Caddick
Vice Provost | Enterprise