Equitable Access Policies

Approaches to Equitable Access

This page provides links to equitable access policies and other resources developed by global health R&D funders, Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) and academic institutions.

Global Health Funders


Stewardship & Access Plan Development Guide

This document provides guidance for developers of therapeutics, diagnostics and preventatives. It outlines CARB-X’s expectations of product developers regarding stewardship & access plans, and aims to inspire other organizations to develop and act upon their own access principles.


Equitable Access

CEPI has published a number of resources related to its commitments to equitable access including an Equitable Access Framework, which articulates CEPI’s role in the ‘end-to-end’ process for achieving equitable access, as well as an Equitable Access Policy. CEPI has also published summaries of the access obligations included in the funding agreements for its core portfolio and COVID-19 vaccine portfolio alongside an ‘equitable access dashboard‘ which outlines the access requirements that it may consider for inclusion in funding agreements.

Gates Foundation

Global Access Statement

This statement provides an explanation of the concept of global access and sets out some of the requirements that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation may make of its grantees. These requirements include the development of a Global Access Strategy, the grant of a Humanitarian License or other IP rights to the Foundation, and regular progress reporting to the Foundation.  The statement also includes explanations of the core elements to be included in a Global Access Strategy.


Access Policy

The Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund’s access policy has two components: data access and product access. The data access policy focuses on the transparency and accessibility of data generated with GHIT funding. The product access policy addresses requirements related to voluntary licensing and affordable pricing. GHIT has also signed an MOU with MPP under which MPP may contribute its expertise in licensing and technology transfer to support the implementation of GHIT’s access policy.

RIGHT Foundation

Global Access Policy

The Research Investment for Global Health Technology (RIGHT) Foundation sets out a Global Access Policy based on: (i) the prompt & broad dissemination of project data; and (ii) accessibility and availability in terms of price, quantity, quality and timeframe of products & innovations arising from funded projects.

Wellcome Trust

Equitable Access to Healthcare Interventions

The Wellcome Trust’s statement on maximising access to healthcare interventions includes contractual mechanisms such as global access plans, revenue sharing agreements, and stewardship plans. Wellcome has also published a report setting out its commitments to tackling access-related challenges, and a follow-up report reflecting on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Product Development Partnerships


Pro-Access Policies

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) has an access policy and an intellectual property policy, both of which outline DNDi’s approach to achieving equitable and affordable access to products resulting from its R&D collaborations. DNDi recently published a paper on ‘Striking fair deals for equitable access to medicines‘ which provides further details of access provisions in its agreements.


Global Access Policy

FIND’s global access policy statement outlines “Four A’s” that govern its work with over 160 partners each year: Available, Appropriate, Affordable, and Adopted. FIND avoids a one-size-fits-all approach and instead focuses on best-fit solutions, affordable and quality products, affordable diagnostic solutions, and accelerated adoption with the context of LMICs.


Global Market Access

IVCC’s Global Access Strategy aims to: (i) minimise time to optimal impact; (ii) support evidence-based deployment; and (iii) ensure the effective and sustainable management of insecticide resistance, whilst sustaining innovation. IVCC considers Access as a coordinated set of activities to ensure that vector control products are available, affordable, and acceptable to end users, and adopted into developing country health systems.


Socially Responsible Agreements

The Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) highlights the need to meet its public health mission through socially responsible agreements. In order to support its mission, MMV retains the rights to the intellectual property required for launching new drugs for their target patients. MMV’s policies emphasize that IP rights must be exclusive, royalty-free, and transferable. 

TB Alliance

Commitment to Access

The TB Alliance follows a “AAA Mandate”:  new products must be Adopted by regulatory bodies, must be Available to populations in need, and must be Affordable to patients with TB, within their health systems. To achieve this mandate, the TB alliance works with stakeholders and partners to ensure new products are endorsed and recommended, to perform and disseminate new research, and to ensure a consistent and affordable global supply chain.

Academic Institutions


Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology

AUTM provides principles and guidelines as well as a global health toolkit to support the development of licenses that promote global access. AUTM endorses the Nine Points to Consider, as well as providing a set of COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines.

Emory University

Technology Transfer for Global Access

This document from Emory University’s Office of Technology Transfer outlines the university’s guiding principles in innovation access. These guiding principles include seeking industry partners and creating new companies, engaging in open discussion with industry partners in regards to philanthropic access, supporting production in low- and middle-income countries, and following effective global access principles when licensing Emory inventions.

Harvard, MIT, and Stanford

COVID-19 Technology Access Framework

The COVID-19 Technology Access Framework was jointly developed by Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University. The Framework sets out commitments for equitable access to university innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harvard University

Global Access Provisions

Harvard has developed a set of global access provisions which may be required in exclusive licenses for technology which could have significant public health benefits. The provisions include: (i) definitions of Developing Countries, Humanitarian Purposes and Qualified Humanitarian Organization; (ii) retained rights for humanitarian purposes; (iii) the right to grant third party licenses for sale and distribution of a licensed product in developing countries; and (iv) tiered royalty rates for developing countries.

McGill University

Global Access Principles

McGill University’s Global Access Principles include (i) an open science approach and the availability and accessibility of information; (ii) evaluation of the necessity and benefits of intellectual property protection for different territories; and (iii) the structuring of licensing terms to improve global access, such as non-exclusive and field or territory specific licenses, sublicensing programs, and royalty structures that encourage commercialization at a reasonable cost.  

Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres

Ten Principles for Socially Responsible Licensing

The Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) developed the Ten Principles in 2019, and together with the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), has added a toolkit including template patent license agreement terms to build on these principles. The organizations also provide a set of principles for public-private partnerships.

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines

Equitable Access Framework & Global Licensing Principles

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) is global network of university students promoting global access to university healthcare innovations. UAEM has developed a Global Access Licensing (GAL) Toolkit which provides examples of terms that can be included in university license agreements to ensure access to and affordability of resulting products. UAEM also publishes Global Health Grades for research universities in several countries.

University of British Columbia

Global Access Principles

The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Global Access Principles include a statement that societal impact has become a key metric alongside standard throughput, financial and economic measurements in measuring the success of technology transfer activities. UBC will seek to enter into public/private partnerships to develop new technolgies for the developing world, as well as negotiating “at cost” pricing for developing countries under exclusive license agreements.

A paper on the successes and challenges of UBC’s principles provides further discussion of the practices applied by UBC to promote global access to university innovations.

UC Berkeley

Affordable Access Plan

The Socially Responsible Licensing Program (SLRP) page from the UC Berkeley Office of Intellectual Property & Industry Research Alliances (IPIRA) provides a number of useful resources including model agreement clauses, articles, presentations and examples of SLRP projects.

UC Berkeley has also published a template exclusive license agreement which includes a requirement for an Affordable Access Plan. This was developed in partnership with UAEM.


Considering Underserved Populations When Licensing Medical Research Discoveries

UCLA has stated its commitment to transparent and equitable biomedical research, including ensuring affordable access for underserved populations. In order to support affordability, UCLA licensees must provide an affordable access plan upon receipt of FDA approval for a licensed product. The affordable access provision included in UCLA license agreements is the result of discussions between UCLA leadership, student advocacy groups and the Medicines Patent Pool. A meeting summary is available here.

University of Edinburgh

Statement of Principles for Access to Medical Technologies in Developing Countries

This statement outlines the University’s approach to licensing health-related technologies, including: (i) filing patents in developing countries “only as necessary”; (ii) encouraging early publication & wide dissemination of research; (iii) making efforts to use creative and effective licensing strategies to promote global access; and (iv) support the development of technologies for medical conditions that disproportionately impact communities in developing countries, without regard to the economic value for the university.