What we measure

The 2020 AMR Benchmark evaluates how 30 pharmaceutical companies are responding to the global threat of AMR. It has examined company actions relating to medicines and vaccines for bacterial and fungal infections. Find out more about the research scopes.

Company scope

The 2020 AMR Benchmark evaluates 30 pharmaceutical companies, including top antibiotic market leaders in terms of sales volume and/or value, the largest vendors of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and companies with novel clinical-stage candidates for a priority pathogens. All companies focus on antibacterial and/or antifungal medicines and vaccines.

It compares companies in three groups: large-research-based pharmaceutical companies, generic medicine manufacturers and clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies (referred to as small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs). The companies were selected using specific criteria, depending on the group. 

Large R&D-based companies: These eight companies include the biggest R&D-based companies still active from development to deployment for antibacterials and antifungals. 

Generic Medicine Manufacturers: These nine companies include antibiotic market leaders in terms of sales volume and/or value.

Pharmaceutical SMEs: These 13 companies all have important clinical-stage medicine candidates targeting pathogens that pose a high risk to human health.

Disease scope

In 2020, the AMR Benchmark has updated its 2018 baseline analysis by focusing on companies' actions to limit AMR regarding bacterial and fungal infections. Bacteria account for a large proportion of resistant priority pathogens and have a wide geographic distribution worldwide. 

As antimicrobial medicines become less effective due to resistance, the need to develop new ones grows more pressing. New vaccines can also slow the emergence of resistance by preventing disease. To highlight the top R&D priorities, WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have compiled lists of bacteria and fungi that pose a greater threat to human health than others – these form the disease scope for the R&D Research Area.

Resistance to antifungals and antibiotics is fueled by overuse and misuse, giving companies a key role to play in balancing access and stewardship initiatives, so this Research Area looks at all bacteria and fungi. Manufacturing waste in the environment is another factor driving resistance to antibacterials – and an emerging area of concern for antifungals. In 2020, the focus in this Research Area remains on antibacterials manufacturing, where there is a clearer consensus around the specific actions for pharmaceutical companies.

Product scope

The 2020 Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark reports on company actions in relation to medicines and vaccines that target bacterial and fungal infections in humans:

  • Medicines: Includes all innovative and adaptive medicines, branded generics and generic medicines that are used for direct treatment of target bacterial and fungal pathogens or disease processes, regardless of formulation. Products such as medicines used only for symptomatic relief are not included.
  • Vaccines: Includes both preventive and therapeutic vaccines targeting bacteria and fungi.

Geographic scope

AMR is a global problem. Pharmaceutical companies need to take action around the world to fulfill their role in limiting AMR. The AMR Benchmark captures companies' actions globally (218 countries or territories).

Access indicators
A key set of Benchmark indicators measure how companies plan for or address access to antimicrobials. For these indicators, the Benchmark assesses pharmaceutical companies' actions in countries where better access is most urgently needed. For the 2020 Benchmark, there are 102 countries that meet this criteria in total, mainly low- and middle-income countries. 

Defining the country scope for access indicators
The 102 countries covered by access indicators have been defined using four criteria: (1) countries’ level of income; (2) their levels of development; (3) the scope and scale of inequality in each country; and (4) their infectious disease burden.

These assessments are based on data from the World Bank, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), respectively.

On 15 March 2019, this page was updated following a further revision to the company scope. It was corrected to show that Amplyx is now in scope of the 2020 AMR Benchmark and F2G is not.

Learn more

View our detailed overview of each company’s performance

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