The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has become the first patent holder to join the Medicines Patent Pool, PlusNews reports. Patent holders in the pool allow generic manufacturers to use their proprietary technology in exchange for royalties. Established by international health financing agency UNITAID, the pool has the potential to reduce the costs of life-sustaining antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and encourage the development of new HIV drugs. NIH has licensed the ARV darunavir, sold in the United States as Prezista. However, generic versions of the drug are still not allowed to be sold in countries where a pharmaceutical company holds additional patents.

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