The 2021 Access to Medicine Index, produced by the Access To Medicine Foundation, which was just released, is an independent ranking of 20 of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies on their actions to improve access to medicine in 106 countries. “Pfizer is new in the top 5 in 2021, just behind GSK, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson, which hold the top three places. GSK and Novartis are almost tied for first place. The four top-ranked companies together with Sanofi (5th), Takeda (6th), AstraZeneca (7th) and Merck KGaA (8th) comprise the eight companies setting the pace in access planning. Engagement in systematic access planning has increased from one company in 2018 to 40% of companies in the Index.” One key finding is that R&D for COVID19 has increased, yet for other pathogens with pandemic potential, 10 out of 16 have empty pipelines.
The Index provides a great deal of data.
- The ranking dashboard on the Index site allows you to compare companies and go deeper to read how each performs on access to medicine, including breakdowns of their pipelines and portfolios for diseases in scope.
- The Index uses 33 metrics to examine how 20 pharmaceutical companies respond to the need for better access to medicine in 106 low- and middle-income countries and for 82 diseases, conditions and pathogens. The Results section allows you to explore all the analyses and can be filtered by Companies, Topics, Regions and/or Diseases.
- The Best Practices section shows which best practices pharma companies are putting into action for improving access to medicine.
From a supply angle, there are interesting results about safeguards.
- “In considering how pharma companies play a crucial role in safeguarding the supply of high-quality medicines globally, AstraZeneca, Bayer, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Novartis and Pfizer reportedly took measures in response to/in anticipation of the supply disruptions in low- and middle-income countries caused by COVID-19.”
- “In preventing poor-quality medicines from reaching pharmacy shelves, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Eisai, GSK, Novartis and Takeda lead by having a policy ‘to report cases in less than ten days and demonstrating strong approaches (including visual inspection e.g. confirmation of mislabelling, or packaging data verification) to allow faster action to withdraw the product from the market.'”