A research programme by the Access to Medicine Foundation

How we work with experts

Every two years, the Index methodology is refined based on a targeted review of how stakeholders view pharma’s role in access to medicine. Find out more about this review and the experts involved.

The Access to Medicine Index is a product of a two-year process known as the ‘Index cycle’. During year one, the Foundation focuses on reviewing the previous Index and consulting expert stakeholders to prepare the methodology for the next Access to Medicine Index. During year two, the team collect verifies and analyses data about pharmaceutical companies. Finally, the results are published in a new Access to Medicine Index, and the Foundation starts the work of using the findings to spur change across the industry. Here you can read about what this process entails.

Building consensus on pharma's role in access

The Access to Medicine Foundation has developed a robust process for building consensus on how pharmaceutical companies can improve access to medicine. 

During year one of each Index cycle we engage with specialists from multilateral organisations, governments, research institutions, the pharma industry, NGOs, patient organisations and investors. We balance their different viewpoints to identify ambitious but achievable actions that pharma companies can be expected to take.

We translate these expectations into the metrics that form the basis of the methodology for the Access to Medicine Index. The metrics are designed to capture and compare how the world’s largest pharma companies are performing on access to medicine. We are supported by independent advisors and formal committees of technical experts specialised in specific areas of access to medicine.

Our consensus-building activities follow set timelines. If you would like to contribute, please get in touch.

2017 stakeholder review

For the 2018 Access to Medicine Index, the research team gathered input in three main stages:

1. Formal committee reviews and advice

The methodology approach, proposal and final version was reviewed by the Expert Review Committee (ERC), who provided strategic guidance and recommendations. Specialist advice was provided by members of the Technical Sub-Committees (TSCs). The ERC and TSC members are all experts in different aspects of access to medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.

2. Targeted expert consultations

Consultations were sought with a broad range of experts with different expertise and perspectives, including from governments and the global health and investor communities. Many of these were based around specific questions relating to our methodology and analysis.

3. Feasibility evaluation with pharmaceutical companies

Pharmaceutical companies evaluated in the 2016 Index provided feedback early in 2017 on the process of gathering, submitting and verifying data.

The Executive Review Committee (ERC)

Since the first Access to Medicine Index in 2008, the Expert Review Committee (ERC) for the Index has provided independent, strategic guidance during each methodology review. The ERC provides external advice on the scope, structure, and analytical approach of the Access to Medicine Index.

The ERC is made up of independent experts, including from the WHO, the industry, NGOs, academia and investors. They are all active on the access to medicine agenda and together represent a variety of stakeholder groups. 

The members of the ERC for the 2018 Access to Medicine Index are:

  • Chair of the Committee, Hans Hogerzeil, former Professor of Global Health at the University of Groningen and former WHO Director for Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies
  • Prashant Yadav, Senior Fellow at the William David Institute and Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School
  • Sanne Frost Helt, Chief Advisor for Global Health, HIV/AIDS and SRHR at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
  • Suzanne Hill, Director, Essential Medicines and Health Products at the World Health Organization
  • Frasia Karua, Interim General Manager Amref Enterprises at Amref Health Africa.
  • Joshua Wamboga Magawa, Board Chair Elect; International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO),
  • Yo Takatsuki, Director, Governance and Sustainable Investment at BMO Global Asset Management.
  • Dilip Shah, Secretary-General of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance
  • Fumie Griego, Assistant Director General for Strategic Planning, Policy and Research at IFPMA 
  • Dennis Ross-Degnan, Associate Professor at the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute

Read their profiles here


Learn more

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