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Media - published on 16 May 2019

Pharma is making progress addressing global health, but it’s still a mixed bag

Ed Silverman of STAT news reports on the Foundation's first 10-year progress report on how pharmaceutical companies are responding to calls to improve global health. The article reports on where the pharmaceutical industry is making progress in the last decade and which challenges remain.

The article begins with a brief overview of company progress in the last ten years, stating that the level of standard practice across the industry is improving, and more companies are taking action to improve access to medicine in certain areas, such as R&D and strategy. It covers some of the areas of growth within the industry including the growing pipeline for priority diseases — such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria — which has more than doubled since 2014, reaching a total of 285 projects. 

The article then shifts its focus to the gaps that remain unaddressed. Here the author highlights that patient access programs have been confined to just a few diseases, and only a few companies tackle the risks of unethical sales behavior. Further, fewer support international trade agreements designed to ensure the poorest people can benefit from medical innovation.

In response to these gaps, Jayasree K Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicine Foundation concludes: 

“Now is not the time for industry or anyone investing or working with industry to be complacent. Our innovations are not reaching anybody if we don’t fix this,” she said. “The question is how do we fill the rest of the glass?” 

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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