A research programme by the Access to Medicine Foundation

Who we are

The Access to Medicine Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation. We analyse how the world's largest pharmaceutical companies are addressing access to medicine. Find out more about our three research programmes and why we focus on pharma.

What we do

Our mission is to stimulate and guide pharmaceutical companies to do more for the people who live in low- and middle-income countries.

We define the actions pharmaceutical companies can and should be taking to improve access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries and then analyse what they are actually doing. 

In practice, that means talking with the experts in global health, in access to medicine and the industry to define ambitious but achievable actions pharma companies can take. We then benchmark companies against these expectations and make all of our research publicly and freely available.

To translate our findings into action, we engage with the companies we evaluate and with organisations from the private sector, donors, NGOs, governments and the investor community.

Three research programmes

We currently have three main research programmes:

The Access to Medicine Index ranks 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies based on seven areas of behaviour linked to access: strategy, governance, R&D, pricing, licensing, capacity building and donations. By publicly recognising the best performers, the Index spurs companies to compete to be the best. The Index is the most comprehensive, long-running survey of company behaviour regarding access to medicine. 

The Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark is the first report to compare what pharmaceutical companies are doing to bring antimicrobial resistance under control. By highlighting where good ideas are being implemented, it will encourage their wide uptake.

The Access to Vaccines Index reports what vaccine companies are doing to ensure all children can be immunised, wherever they live. By uncovering what is working and where, the Index helps ensure vaccine markets also reach the poorest and most remote communities.

We also publish thematic studies, topic-specific analyses of how pharmaceutical companies are responding to access-to-medicine challenges, such as providing access to hepatitis C medicines, or to maternal health.

Why focus on pharma

Considering their size, resources, pipelines, portfolios and global reach, large pharmaceutical companies have a critical role to play in improving access to medicine. 

No-one can solve the challenge alone
To expand access to medicine, help is needed from many directions – from national governments to WHO, the UN and civil society. Pharmaceutical companies are the innovators, developers, manufacturers and distributors of the medicine and vaccines needed by so many, and key partners for advancing universal health coverage and improving immunisation rates. When it comes to slowing antimicrobial resistance, pharma companies can ensure antibiotics are produced responsibly, made available and used wisely.

Toward inclusive business models
Pharmaceutical companies, with the resources and the knowledge to develop medicines, have a responsibility to ensure these technologies are made available to people, regardless of their socioeconomic standing. Improving access to medicine creates new routes to market, opening up demand for new and adapted products. As companies enter new markets, they must do so ethically and responsibly.


Learn more

View our detailed overview of each company’s performance in the Index, including breakdowns of their product portfolios and R&D pipelines.