Dr Ellen’t Hoen


Medicines Law & Policy

Dr Ellen ‘t Hoen is a lawyer and researcher with over 30 years of experience working on pharmaceutical and intellectual property policies. She works as an independent consultant in medicines law and policy for international organisations and governments and does research in the field of intellectual property and health.

From 1999 until 2009 she was the director of policy for Médecins sans Frontières’ Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. In 2009 she joined WHO/UNITAID to set up the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), an initiative that negotiates patent licenses to ensure access to affordable generic medicines in low and middle income countries. She was the MPP’s first executive director until 2012.

Since 2012 she directs Medicines Law & Policy, a group of legal and policy experts offering services to international organizations, governments and non-governmental organisations. She has been a consultant to the World Health Organization, UNITAID, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative/GARDP, OXFAM, Southern African Development Community, the European Commission and the Government of the Netherlands. From 2016 to 2018 she carried out her PhD research at the Global Health Unit of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), The Netherlands. She remains a researcher at the Global Health Unit at the UMCG.

She was a member of the Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines Policies, and serves on the Advisory Board of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM), the Medicines Patent Pool, and the Utrecht Centre for Affordable Biotherapeutics. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Health Policy.

In 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011 she was listed as one of the 50 most influential people in intellectual property by the journal Managing Intellectual Property.

She has published widely and is the author of several books. In 2017 she received the Prix Prescrire for her latest book “Private Patents and Public Health: Changing intellectual property rules for public health.”

She holds a Masters in Law from the University of Amsterdam and a PhD (cum laude) from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.