Access to Medicine – It’s time to implement solutions

01Mar09

It is globally recognized that pharmaceutical companies have a important role to play to increase the availability of medicines for poor people in developing countries.  Working together as part of the international community, pharmaceutical companies, generic drug-makers and institutional investors need to work individually and together to help ease burdens of global health. The Access to Medicine Index provides a framework and incentive structure for pharmaceutical companies to increase their efforts in this space.

 

Access to Medicine Index

Access to Medicine Index

The Access to Medicine Foundation publishes a global index each year of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies and ranks them with regards to their Access to Medicine strategy. This is the most recent ranking

The Problem: 10 million people die each year from diseases that have available cures. Tragically, the essential medicines to treat such diseases are lacking throughout much of the developing world. Moreover, many diseases affecting millions of the world’s poorest remain entirely overlooked with only 10% of the world’s R&D funding going towards research into 90% of the world’s health problems. 

How an external independent public ranking can help: Ethical arguments about what should be done by pharmaceutical companies to alleviate this problem has developed into a business case for action.  Pharmaceutical companies can:

  • Put actions behind their words and strategies and be socially responsible. Understand they are in prime position to help the problem. 
  • thereby Decreasing reputational risk against activist campaigns and negative media coverage. Increase staff morale and recruit and retain the best employees and improve relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Decrease IP risk by opening up IP positions in critical areas of unmet need. Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK recently kickstarted the conversation
  • Decrease market risk against competitors – whether generic or research-based – move into, and establish themselves in developing country markets.
  • The drug development is a tough business – when a company does good work, even big pharma deserves good recognition and be motivated to do more. (“Creative Capitalism” – Bill Gates Article)


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