Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Stock Exchange: New York Stock Exchange Ticker: BMY HQ: New York City, New York, United States Employees: 23,700



Rank 13 in 2016




Falls from 13th place in 2016, to 15th. It continues to show strong performance in its approach to the pro-access management of IP, but its processes for access planning in R&D are weak. Its equitable pricing approach is average.

Performance by technical area
Performance by strategic pillar


Rises 2 places to 13th. The company does not assign responsibility for access at the board level (only executive level), but improves with commitments to measure impact.


Rises 9 places to 7th. Prohibits political financial contributions outside of the US, and discloses financial support to patients’ organisations.


Rises 3 places to 17th. Remains in last quartile. No clear process for access planning during development, and none of its late-stage projects have plans for access.


Falls 4 places to 16th. Fails to commit clearly to the rapid registration of products, with an average performance in equitable pricing.


 Falls 1 place to 4th. A continued strong approach to licensing maintains its performance, and newly discloses patent statuses via Pat-INFORMED.


Falls 2 places to 18th. A focus on health systems strengthening, however, no included initiatives meet all good practice standards. 


Rises 4 places to 10th. Newly included donation programme focused on chronic myeloid leukaemia, in partnership with the Max Foundation.


Develop a process to establish more access plans for R&D. Bristol-Myers Squibb can develop a clear approach to establishing access plans for R&D projects during development that takes into account the specific considerations necessary for each project, especially for its late-stage projects. Currently, none of its projects have access provisions in place.

Expand use of equitable pricing. Dasatinib (Sprycel®) for the treatment of leukaemia is an on-patent first-line product on the WHO EML that has no equitable pricing strategies in place. Applying equitable pricing strategies to this product, to countries where disease burden is high, would help increase affordability for those most in need: for example, Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

Review incentives for sales agents. Bristol-Myers Squibb can improve its commitment to ensure responsible sales practices by decoupling sales incentives from sales targets. Removing the emphasis on sales targets is recognised as a mechanism for reducing the impact of unethical marketing on, for example, rational prescribing.

Expand access by engaging in voluntary licensing. Bristol-Myers Squibb can expand access for more products against high-burden diseases (outside of HIV/AIDS) by utilising voluntary licensing to increase generic supply.  Possible products could include dasatinib (Sprycel®), listed on the 2017 WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML) for imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukaemia, as well as apixaban (Eliquis®) for ischaemic heart disease and management of stroke and other blood clots. 

Change since 2016

  • Joined Access Accelerated with multiple initiatives such as its Secure the Future programmes focused on NCDs. It has also committed to measure impact and share results publicly via Access Observatory.
  • Takes affordability and some socioeconomic factors into account for all intra-country equitable pricing strategies.
  • Discloses publicly the patent statuses for small molecules in scope via the Pat-INFORMED platform.
  • Expanded its non-exclusive voluntary licence for Atazanavir (Reyataz®) indicated for HIV to include 12 new countries, eight of which are middle-income countries within the scope of the Index.
  • Moved a substantial portion of its R&D projects along the pipeline.
  • Committed to $50 million over five years to support the Global HOPE initiative, which aims to train approximately 4,800 healthcare workers to provide quality paediatric cancer care.

Pipeline​ and Portfolio

for diseases and countries in scope


Comparatively small pipeline: 25 R&D projects (all medicines) for diseases in scope.
Clinical candidates: 18, including a factor XIa inhibitor for ischaemic heart disease and lirilumab for the treatment of multiple cancer types.
Regulatory approvals: 5, for additional indications for nivolumab (Opdivo®) in the treatment of five different cancers in scope.
R&D focus: non-communicable diseases (cancer).
Access provisions: for 1 project, with provisions incorporated in partnership with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).


Comparatively small portfolio: 25 products (all medicines) for diseases in scope.
Portfolio focus: non-communicable diseases (cancer and ischaemic heart disease) and communicable diseases (HIV/AIDS).
Essential medicines: 68% of Bristol-Myers Squibb's medicines are currently listed on the 2017 WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (WHO EML).
First-line treatments: 68% of Bristol-Myers Squibb's medicines have first-line indications for diseases in scope.

Projects in the pipeline: 22
Products on the market: 25
Projects for R&D priority targets with access provisions: 1
Essential medicines with first-line indications: 15

Business context

One business unit: Biopharmaceuticals, with four main therapeutic areas (oncology; immunology; cardiovascular diseases; and fibrotic diseases).

M&A news: 2016 acquisition of Padlock Therapeutics, a biotechnology company specialising in autoimmune diseases. 2017 acquisition of IFM Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company specialising in immunotherapy for cancer and inflammatory diseases. 

Presence in emerging markets: In 2018, Bristol-Myers Squibb reports sales in 13 countries in scope; 24 less than in the 2016 Index. It reports that around 20% of its sales in 2017 came from regions outside of Europe and the USA.

Sales in countries in scope
Revenue by geographic region

* 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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