World’s Largest Drug Companies Not Doing Enough To Improve Access To Medicines In Poor Nations, Index Shows

Financial Times: Big pharma failing to do enough for poor countries
“Some of the world’s biggest drug companies are failing to do enough to provide medicines to poor countries, and the industry as a whole has made almost no progress in making treatments more affordable, the latest Access to Medicine Index has revealed…” (Viña, 11/13).

Forbes: New Pharma Rankings On Global Access To Medicine
“…[The] non-profit research group, based in the Netherlands, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.K. Department for International Development, … the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and several NGOs; they accept no funding from pharmaceutical companies. They report these findings as an index or report card, ranking companies on these parameters: management of access to their medicine, market influence, and compliance, research and development, pricing, manufacturing and distribution, patents and licensing, capacity building, and product donation…” (Stone, 11/13).

The Guardian: GSK tops list of drug firms improving global access to medicine
“GlaxoSmithKline has come [out on] top of a league table that monitors the availability of medicine in developing countries, with fellow U.K. drugmaker AstraZeneca making it into the top 10. … Overall, drugmakers have 850 products on the market for the 51 worst diseases in low- and middle-income countries. They are developing another 420. But only five percent of products are covered by pricing strategies that were deemed affordable for different population groups within countries…” (Kollewe, 11/14).

New York Times: Which Big Drug Companies Are Helping the Poor? Here’s the List
“…The list was created by Wim Leerveld, a Dutch former pharmaceutical executive, and grew with early support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch and British governments. At first, many drug companies ignored its requests for information. Now, virtually all cooperate. Some have created global health divisions and even compete to do well on the list…” (McNeil, 11/13).

Reuters: Drugmakers improve access for poor, GSK ranked top
“…Jayasree Iyer, executive director of the Amsterdam-based Access to Medicine Foundation, said drugmakers were becoming more sophisticated in addressing the issue but more needed to be done on pricing…” (Hirschler, 11/13).

STAT: Which drug makers do a good job getting poor patients access to their medicines?
“…Over the past four years, the number of companies using equitable pricing strategies increased from 16 in 2012, to 18 in 2014, to 19 in 2016. Ischemic heart disease replaced HIV/AIDS as the disease with the most products with equitable pricing. Gilead Sciences had the highest proportion of products — 50 percent — with equitable pricing strategies that target priority countries…” (Silverman, 11/13).

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