The Access to Medicine Index is a very important project. What gets measured, gets done.
When I talk to executives from pharmaceutical companies they tell me that they want to do more for neglected diseases, but they at least need to get credit for it. The Access to Medicine Index does exactly that.
This year’s index shows that the pharmaceutical industry has made progress in improving access to vital medicines for the globe’s poorest people, helping to tackle some of the world’s worst diseases. The deadly Ebola outbreak reminds us that there is still much to be done to stop the spread of diseases in developing countries.
The Access to Medicine Index mobilizes the strength of the private sector, impacting the lives of millions of the most vulnerable people on earth. It showcases the synergy of aid, trade and investment.
Accountability is indispensable to the full implementation of the right to health, and the Access to Medicine Index plays an important role in promoting the responsibility of pharmaceutical corporations for a core element of the right to health – the right of everyone to access essential medicines.
There is more that we can do and are doing. This year, the index is tougher than ever. It challenges us to think harder about how we drive innovation and enable access to our products. This is a challenge that we are ready and willing to take on. We will continue to push ourselves to go further and faster to make sure our medicines and vaccines reach more people.
But we at Novartis are only one piece of the puzzle. Tools like the Access to Medicine Index are useful in encouraging the pharmaceuticals industry to improve access.
The first ever Access to Vaccines Index has the potential to be a powerful tool to measure efforts made by vaccine manufacturers to help improve immunisation in countries with the highest need, this Index can help to identify product gaps as well as challenges on affordability, pricing policy transparency, research and development, and supply, to drive positive change and reach more people with life-saving vaccines.
Licensing agreements between pharmaceutical companies and the Medicines Patent Pool can benefit 87-94% of people living with HIV in the developing world, and produce up to USD1.4 billion of savings for the international community. The Access to Medicine Foundation incentivizes companies to engage with us and is one of our key partners to achieve impact.
The success of GHIT reveals that Japanese pharmaceutical companies are more willing than ever to participate in much-needed global health R&D partnerships. The Access to Medicine Foundation recognizes this and continues to drive forward global health in partnership with industry.
The work of the Access to Medicine Foundation is powerful because it shows how pharmaceutical companies can and should integrate access to medicine into their business strategies. This empowers local civil society organizations to advocate for more sustainable initiatives.
The Sustainable Development Goals and human rights demand accountability, which consists of monitoring, review and remedial action. By deepening monitoring, the Access to Medicine Foundation makes an indispensable contribution towards the accountability of pharmaceutical companies for the SDGs.
I’ve been impressed by the Access to Medicine Index. It presents well-balanced stakeholder views on good practices for the pharmaceutical industry and it provides clear standards against which the performance of individual companies can be judged.
It is crucial for a CEO to have a dialogue with his/her company’s stakeholders. The Access to Medicine Index stimulates this dialogue, which is essential to bring all parties together. For this reason I highly recommend other sectors use this model as well.
The Access to Medicine Index has proven to provide much-needed transparency into pharmaceutical industry actions and policies. That will ultimately lead to greater access to healthcare for millions of people all over the globe.
Companies are beginning to understand that the value of corporate social responsibility programmes is not only the opportunity to do the right thing but that it’s good for business as well. The Access to Medicine Index provides companies with a chance to improve performance and explore new business models while helping societies in need.
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