2021 Ranking

Progress continues, yet access to many products still goes unaddressed

Pharmaceutical companies continue to inch forward when it comes to addressing access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries, finds the 2021 Access to Medicine Index, published Tuesday 26 January, 2021. There are signs of progress in how they are integrating pro-access approaches into governance structures, R&D processes and monitoring efforts. Yet initiatives addressing access to specific products still remain focused on a few countries. Pfizer moves into the top five. GSK retains its number one position, yet only slightly ahead of Novartis.

1 Novartis AG
0 1 2 3 4 5
4.53

Novartis AG

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2 GlaxoSmithKline plc
0 1 2 3 4 5
4.36

GlaxoSmithKline plc

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3 Pfizer Inc.
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.91

Pfizer Inc.

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3 Sanofi
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.91

Sanofi

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4 Novo Nordisk A/S
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.81

Novo Nordisk A/S

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5 Johnson & Johnson
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.78

Johnson & Johnson

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6 AstraZeneca plc
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.29

AstraZeneca plc

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7 Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.22

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

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8 Merck KGaA (Merck)
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.16

Merck KGaA (Merck)

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9 Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.09

Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

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10 Eisai Co. Ltd.
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.06

Eisai Co. Ltd.

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11 Bayer AG
0 1 2 3 4 5
3.03

Bayer AG

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12 Roche Holding AG
0 1 2 3 4 5
2.92

Roche Holding AG

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13 Gilead Sciences Inc.
0 1 2 3 4 5
2.50

Gilead Sciences Inc.

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14 Astellas Pharma Inc.
0 1 2 3 4 5
2.35

Astellas Pharma Inc.

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15 Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd.
0 1 2 3 4 5
1.90

Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd.

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16 Merck & Co., Inc. (MSD)
0 1 2 3 4 5
1.82

Merck & Co., Inc. (MSD)

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17 AbbVie Inc.
0 1 2 3 4 5
1.30

AbbVie Inc.

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18 Eli Lilly & Co.
0 1 2 3 4 5
1.25

Eli Lilly & Co.

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19 Bristol Myers Squibb Co.
0 1 2 3 4 5
1.15

Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

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0 1 2 3 4 5

The ranking above shows the position and score of each company in the 2021 Index. Click on a company's name to go to its full report card.


Insights

  • All companies have essential medicines or vaccines

    Of the 757 marketed products included in the Index analysis, 75% are medicines. More than half these products target non-communicable diseases, while few target neglected tropical diseases such as snakebite envenoming and trachoma. The majority of companies are patent holders of at least one medicine listed on the WHO EML. 

  • Few products are registered in high-burden countries

    The countries in scope with the most registration filings mainly include Brazil and Thailand. The countries with the least filings include politically unstable countries, e.g., Somalia and South Sudan, or have small populations such as Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Companies should prioritise countries with the highest disease burdens when planning for registration.

  • Few products are covered by access strategies in LICs

    Access strategies with the biggest potential impact on access to medicine are strategies that aim to make products affordable for all patients across the income pyramid. The Index finds that many of the world’s poor countries still do not benefit significantly from pharma companies' access strategies.

  • Partnerships help ensure uninterrupted supply

    19 companies report working in some form of a partnership to address supply challenges: e.g. collaborating with supranational partners to supply medicine, liaising with government and purchasers on demand forecasting and working with local distributors to tackle supply barriers.


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