Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

Stock Exchange: Privately held Ticker: n.a. HQ: Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany Employees: 49,610



Rank 16 in 2016




Rises 2 places to 14th. Boehringer Ingelheim launched a new access-to-medicine strategy that is directly overseen by the Board. It improves in Pricing and Capacity Building, but is comparatively weaker in R&D, Market Influence & Compliance and Product Donations.

Performance by technical area
Performance by strategic pillar


Falls 3 places to 17th. Launched a new access strategy, but fails to incentivise staff to achieve access objectives.


Rises 4 places to 14th. Discloses policies for responsible engagement, but fails to publicly disclose financial support to relevant institutions.


Falls 3 places to 16th. Its R&D strategy lacks a public health rationale for diseases in scope, but improves its access plans during R&D. 


Rises 6 places to 12th. Significant improvement, with 84% of its portfolio covered by equitable pricing strategies, targeting priority countries.


Falls 2 places to 9th. Despite a broad geographic scope for its non-assert declaration, the company lags behind peers in patent transparency.


Rises 5 places to 12th. Notable improvement in capacity building, with a focus on pharmacovigilance and health system strengthening.


Rises 2 places to 15th. Donates products in response to natural disasters, but has no long-term structured donation programmes.


Expand process to establish more access plans for all R&D projects. Boehringer Ingelheim can expand its process to develop access plans during R&D to all in-house and collaborative R&D projects for all diseases in scope. It can follow a structured timeline to ensure that these plans are in place as soon as possible. Boehringer Ingelheim has an opportunity to ensure that access plans for both its marketed and investigational biosimilars in scope are established. Biosimilars have the potential to support affordability if access plans are developed. This applies to products such as Boehringer Ingelheim's insulin glargine biosimilar (Basaglar®) developed in collaboration with Eli Lilly, and its Phase III clinical biosimilar candidate, bevacizumab.

Apply lessons from well-structured initiatives. Boehringer Ingelheims's Angel’s Initiative works to optimise the availability and quality of treatment for stroke patients. The initiative meets all of the good practice standards looked for by the Index, including good governance structures, processes to mitigate conflicts of interest, and monitoring and evaluation procedures. One of Boehringer Ingelheim’s pillars of its new strategy for access is focused on solutions for adherence and awareness. When developing country-level initiatives under this pillar, the company can ensure that all initiatives meet the same standards as this one.

Implement strategies to minimise the risk of non-compliance. Boehringer Ingelheim can establish formal processes to ensure third-party compliance with standards of anti-corruption and ethical marketing. Alongside this, Boehringer Ingelheim can decouple its sales incentives from sales targets to incentivise responsible sales practices.

Establish a clear and public post-trial access policy. Boehringer Ingelheim can develop a clear stance on post-trial access that is aligned with the Declaration of Helsinki, detailing the conditions through which a clinical trial participant will be eligible for post-trial access. In addition, it can commit to registering all new products in the countries where clinical trials for these products have taken place.

Change since 2016

  • Strengthened its commitment to access with responsibility at the board-level, and the establishment of the position of Head of Access to Healthcare and Global Health Policy.
  • Reviewed and updated its access to medicine strategy with clear objectives focused on three strategic pillars: availability, sustainable access models, and innovative solutions for awareness and adherence.
  • Expanded its patent filing and enforcement policy to abstain from enforcing patents in most low-income and low human development countries, and many middle-income countries across the company's entire human pharmaceuticals portfolio.
  • In 2018, launched the 'In Reach Africa' programme, which aims to improve human and animal healthcare access in 10 African countries.
  • Implemented a new Global Code of Conduct for ethical marketing and compliance in 2018, aligned with the IFPMA Code of Practice and the UN Global Compact principles

Pipeline​ and Portfolio

for diseases and countries in scope


Comparatively large pipeline: 111 R&D projects (all medicines) for diseases in scope.
Clinical candidates: 20, including a bevacizumab biosimilar candidate for the treatment of lung cancer.
Regulatory approvals: 1, afatinib (Gilotrif®) as an expanded indication for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
R&D focus: non-communicable diseases (cancer, diabetes mellitus, kidney diseases and asthma).
Access provisions: for 3 projects, all including equitable pricing, registration and supply strategies.


Comparatively small portfolio: 31 products for diseases in scope (30 medicines; 1 contraceptive method).
Portfolio focus: non-communicable diseases (diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma).
Essential medicines: 32% of Boehringer Ingelheim's medicines are currently listed on the 2017 WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML).
First-line treatments: 39% of Boehringer Ingelheim's medicines have first-line indications for diseases in scope.

Projects in the pipeline: 111*
Products on the market: 31
Projects for R&D priority targets with access provisions: 0
Essential medicines with first-line indications: 7

Business context

Three business units: Prescription Medicine; Animal Health; and Biopharmaceuticals. Its prescription medicine segment has six therapeutic areas (respiratory disorders; cardiovascular diseases; metabolic diseases; central nervous system diseases; oncology; and immunology). 

M&A news: 2017 divestment of consumer healthcare business to Sanofi, in exchange for Merial, Sanofi's animal health business. 

Presence in emerging markets: In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim reports sales in 20 countries in scope; three less than in the 2016 Index. It reports that almost 25% of its sales in 2017 came from the Asia, Australia and Africa region.

Sales in countries in scope
Net sales by geographic region

* Figure excludes one project that does not fall into the listed phases of development: e.g., technical lifecycle projects, diagnostics, platform technologies, vector control products, investigator sponsored trials and Phase IV projects.
** Neglected Tropical Diseases, while also communicable, are highlighted separately throughout the Index. See Appendix II.
*** See Appendix IV for definition.

Learn more

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

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