2016 Access to Medicine Index: out in November
The Access to Medicine Foundation is preparing a new iteration of its leading sustainability Index of pharmaceutical companies – the next Access to Medicine Index will be published in November 2016.
All data for the 2016 Access to Medicine Index has now been submitted: The Foundation’s research team is closely examining this wealth of information on how pharmaceutical companies address access to medicine. The Access to Medicine Index is published every two years and ranks 20 of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies on their policies and practices to improve access to medicine.
“This is the fifth time we will publish the Access to Medicine Index, once again establishing what good practice in access to medicine looks like.” says Jayasree K. Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicine Foundation. “With this, companies and their partners can work toward the same high standards. Plus, we urgently need innovation to address some of the most persistent global health challenges.”
Excellence in product deployment
For the first time, the Foundation’s researchers are building an end-to-end assessment of how companies deploy their products: the steps they take include deciding whether to license a product in a way that enables competition; whether to register it for sale in low-income and least-developed countries; whether affordability is taken into account when its prices are set; and whether it is donated to the poorest of the poor. Previously, these steps were covered in separate sections of the Access to Medicine Index reports.
“Such actions are interdependent,” says Danny Edwards, Research Programme Manager. “If a company licenses a drug out to multiple partners, this can lead to lower prices in the market. We need to examine companies’ actions together to get the full picture. This is particularly important in middle income countries, for example, where the degree of socio-economic inequality is often particularly high.”
Governance & Compliance: two sides of the same coin
In another first, the research team is examining how companies plan for better access alongside an analysis of how companies ensure unethical behaviour doesn’t undermine those plans. To advance access, companies should be implementing a clear, long-term strategy for increasing access to medicine. In tandem, companies are expected to show zero tolerance of unethical behaviour and non-compliance.
In 2014, the Access to Medicine Index found that companies were becoming increasingly more organised when it comes their access-to-medicine activities. For example, all 20 companies were found to have some form of board-level representation for access-to-medicine issues. Yet the Index also found limited evidence that companies actively fight against unethical behaviour.
“If a company has a great access plan in place, it clearly wants to take every step to ensure it is successful,” says Tara Prasad, Research Programme Manager. “This includes making the maximum effort to uphold the highest possible standards of behaviour across all its operations.”
The 2016 Access to Medicine Index will be published in November, 2016. We are currently setting our schedule for presenting and discussing our findings. If you are interested in joining or hosting a meeting or event, please contact Suzanne Wolf. Please also contact Suzanne if you would like to be notified as soon as the Index is published.