- Merck's Isentress (raltegravir) is the only integrase inhibitor approved for pediatric treatment—representing a much needed treatment option for HIV-infected children in developing countries.
- The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) is a UN-backed organization that was established in 2010 to improve access to appropriate, affordable HIV medications and technologies for HIV-infected people in developing countries.
- This is the first deal in which the MPP will provide access to an HIV integrase inhibitor to be used as part of standard antiretroviral combination therapy in children, starting at the age of four weeks.
The collaboration between Merck and the MPP, in which HIV-infected children in 92 countries will have access to raltegravir, represents the first step in a solution to a longstanding, serious unmet medical need. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 3.2 million children worldwide are HIV-infected and almost 800 die every day because they don't have access to the proper medications or treatment.
Merck has made an effort to address the needs of HIV-infected individuals beyond the borders of well-to-do countries for decades. This involves a series of approaches, including differential pricing, voluntary licensing, public-private partnerships, and philanthropic programs.