The founder of the Medicines Patent Pool, Ellen 't Hoen works (and makes change) at the place where profit and health collide: patented drugs.

Why you should listen

Ellen 't Hoen is an independent medicines law and policy consultant. In 2009, she founded the Medicines Patent Pool at WHO/UNITAID, to accelerate the availability of low-cost HIV treatments, especially antiretroviral medicines, in developing countries through patent licensing. In June 2012 she stepped down from the MPP, but remains involved in supporting it. She is a research fellow at the IS HIV/AIDS Academy of the University of Amsterdam and authored the book The Global Politics of Pharmaceutical Monopoly Power.

Before founding MPP, from 1999 until 2009 't Hoen was the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Médecins sans Frontières’ (MSF) Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. She won several awards for her work on the effects of exposure to the drug (DES) in the 1980s and 1990s, including the prestigious Harriet Freezerring award in 1989. She is a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Policies and Management and a member of the advisory board of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM).

Ellen 't Hoen’s TED talk

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