Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
Searching the website of Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer reveals 10 technology disclosures under the keyword ‘AIDS,’ five of which are patented. It is beyond doubt that these and other health-related research innovations incubated at Penn are important societal contributions. In fact, because Penn is a major research center, there is a high probability that the University could soon come to possess upstream patents on drugs or other lifesaving technologies that could affect the lives of people all over the world.
Does Penn’s responsibility for those innovations end at licensing them out for further development? Our organization, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, believes that the answer is a resounding no. Penn has the opportunity to commit to intellectual property policies which ensure that no lifesaving Penn invention is ever unavailable to the people who need it most. If carefully developed, such a policy need not interfere with Penn’s ability to work with private companies – either as funding sources or as downstream developers. Moreover, a clear and sensible policy on intellectual property would elevate Penn’s reputation as a trailblazer in addressing one of the most challenging contemporary global humanitarian crises.