The Medicines Law & Policy site provides policy and legal analysis and best practice models that can be used by governments, non-governmental organisations, product development initiatives, funding agencies, UN agencies and others working to ensure the availability of effective, safe and affordable medicines for all.
About Medicines Law & Policy
Medicines Law & Policy brings together legal and policy experts in the field of access to medicines, international law, and public health. We provide policy and legal analysis, best practice models and other information that can be used by governments, non-governmental organisations, product development initiatives, funding agencies, UN agencies and others working to ensure the availability of effective, safe and affordable medicines for all.
We are grateful to the IDA Foundation and Health Action International, which provided financial support for the development of some of the content published on this site.
We would like to thank Prof. Frederick Abbott, Prof. Carlos Correa and Roger Kampf (in his personal capacity) for their useful comments on drafts of the materials posted in the tools section of the site.
While we endeavor to provide information that is as accurate as possible there will always be room for improvement. We welcome any comments you may have. The information provided on this website is not meant to be formal legal advice.
For comments or questions contact us at
About the authors
Ellen ‘t Hoen, LLM. is a lawyer and public health advocate with over 30 years of experience working on pharmaceutical and intellectual property policies.
From 1999 until 2009 she was the director of policy for Médecins sans Frontières’ Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. In 2009 she joined UNITAID in Geneva to set up the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) She was the MPP’s first executive director until 2012. In 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 she was listed as one of the 50 most influential people in intellectual property by the journal Managing Intellectual Property. She has worked as an advisor to a number of governments, NGOs and international organisations. She is currently a researcher at the Global Health Unit of the University Medical Centre at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
She has published widely on medicines law and policy issues. Her latest book “Private Patents and Public Health: Changing intellectual property rules for public health” was published July 2016.
Pascale Boulet, LLM. is a lawyer and an expert in patent searches and patent landscapes on medicines in developing countries, with over 20 years’ experience.
Pascale co-authored the first WHO publication on the impact of intellectual property on access to medicines, Globalization and Access to Drugs: Perspectives on the WTO/TRIPS Agreement, published in 1997. Since then she has worked and consulted widely on intellectual property and access to medicines.
Recently, she served as a patent consultant to the MPP during the development of its landmark MedsPaL database, where she remains a major contributor. She contributed to the DNDi policy on innovation and access, and today is DNDi’s Intellectual Property and Access Leader.
Pascale was previously Senior Legal Advisor of Médecins sans Frontières’ (MSF) Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, and also served three years in the WHO Department on Essential Medicines. She has a Master of Laws in International Economic Law from the University of Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris.
Kaitlin Mara has been writing about international intellectual property and innovation policy for a decade.
From 2007 to 2010 she was the Associate Editor at Intellectual Property Watch, where she reported on several World Health Organization negotiations, including the process that resulted in its Global Policy and Plan of Action on Innovation, Intellectual Property and Public Health. In 2010, she joined the newly-formed Medicines Patent Pool as its first head of communications.
Since 2014, she has consulted on issues of intellectual property and access to medicines, including for UNITAID, Médecins Sans Frontières and Health Action International. She is also the editor of Ellen ‘t Hoen’s latest book. When not working on access to medicines, she thinks about access to information and environmental technology. Kaitlin has a Masters of Science from the London School of Economics.