Every two years, the Access to Medicine Foundation reviews and updates the Access to Medicine Index methodology. The endpoint is the meeting of the Expert Review Committee (ERC), whose members can now be announced. The ERC plays an important role in ensuring that the methodology reflects expectations of large R&D-based pharmaceutical companies, in terms of how they ensure access to their products in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
The ERC for the 2024 Index consists of Hans Hogerzeil (Chair), Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, Michela Gregory, Fumie Griego, Regina Mariam Namata Kamoga, Anne Malick, Caroline S. Mbindyo, Hema Srinivasan, Fatima Suleman, Klara Tisocki and Prashant Yadav.
2024 Index methodology review: progress so far
Ahead of the upcoming ERC meeting, the Index research team has already conducted extensive consultations with a broad range of experts and stakeholders – including pharmaceutical companies, governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), academics, and investors.
Discussions have been based around targeted questions relating to the methodology, and how best to align this analytical framework and its metrics with expectations as to how pharmaceutical companies can make their products available, accessible, and affordable to people living in LMICs. Critical to this overall process is ensuring that the Index remains a rigorous tool for assessing companies’ activities and is an effective guide for incentivising change.
We have conducted over 100 interviews with global health stakeholders to refine the methodology proposals. This active engagement has been critical to the review process, with feedback keeping the Index focused on where pharmaceutical companies have the biggest potential and responsibility to make change.
This comprehensive consultation and review process culminates in the updated methodology being presented to the ERC for discussion and ratification, with the 2024 Index ERC meeting for this purpose on 20 July 2023.
Key areas of focus in the methodology review
The Index research team has reviewed the 31 indicators used in the previous Index and has also prioritised its capacity to track changes since the publication of the 2022 Index. In addition to the above-mentioned consultations, the Foundation has also actively engaged on enhancing and updating specific indicators.
Importantly, to help identify whether companies’ access efforts are going the distance in ensuring essential medicines are delivered to the people who need them, the Index research team has intensely refined how the Index quantifies industry efforts to define, measure, and report on patient reach.
Quantifying this is challenging and complex, which is why the Foundation also held two workshops with pharmaceutical companies specifically aimed at gaining insights on how to define and quantify patient reach. The feedback from these sessions provided the research team with valuable insights they could, in combination with insights from other experts on the topic, use to inform indicators in a way that determines impact in terms of patient reach, while fairly assessing company performance.
The collective mission is to ensure equitable access to medicine for all. By proposing changes regarding patient reach within some indicators in the 2024 Index, we are aiming to more clearly identify how companies’ efforts are making a tangible difference for people living in low- and middle-income countries.
The Index research team has now reviewed all feedback and identified points of consensus and points of disagreement, with a final proposal being made to the ERC for final discussion, decision and endorsement of the 2024 Index Methodology.
Once ratified, the 2024 Index Methodology will be published by the Foundation in October 2023 and will form the basis of the 2024 Access to Medicine Index, which is slated for release towards the end of 2024.
The 2024 Expert Review Committee
Chaired by Hans Hogerzeil, former World Health Organization (WHO) Director for Essential Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies, the ERC is composed of a diverse range of international experts in access to medicine and is representative of the Foundation’s multi-stakeholder approach. Members encompass multilateral institutions, industry associations, governments, NGOs, patient organisations, academia, and investors.
The ERC will review any proposals for the scopes, structure, and analytical approach of the 2024 Index and will ratify the final methodology. The Committee will also provide strategic guidance and discuss areas where uncertainty remains, ensuring that the Index represents areas where industry analysis will have the greatest potential to influence and inspire changemaking in expanding access to medicine.
Profiles of the 2024 ERC can be found here.
Chair of the Committee: Hans Hogerzeil, Emeritus Professor of Global Health at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Essential Medicines Policies
Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, Director General at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Professor Emeritus at Roosevelt University (Chicago, USA)
Malick Anne, Bureau Chief of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Social Action
Michela Gregory, Director, Responsible Investing & Environmental, Social and Governances (ESG Services), at NEI Investments
Fumie Griego, Deputy Director General and Chief Operating Officer at the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA)
Regina Mariam Namata Kamoga, Executive Director of the Community Health and Information Network (CHAIN) in Uganda and Founding Director of the World Patient Alliance
Caroline S. Mbindyo, CEO of Amref Health Innovations for Amref Health Africa
Hema Srinivasan, Chief Access Officer at MedAccess
Fatima Suleman, Professor in the School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and Director of Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Policy and Evidence Based Practice at WHO
Klara Tisocki, Team Lead (Pricing and Affordability) Team Lead and Regional Advisor, Essential Medicines (South East Asia Regional Office) at WHO
Prashant Yadav, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development and Affiliate Professor of Technology and Operations at Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (INSEAD)
About the Access to Medicine Index
The Access to Medicine Index ranks 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies every two years by assessing their actions to improve access to medicine for people living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It identifies best practices, highlights where progress is being made, and uncovers where critical action is still required. In 2022, the Index covered 108 LMICs, home to over 80% of all people alive today. The companies in the 2022 Index account for approximately 70% of global pharmaceutical revenue. The Index is funded by the UK and Dutch governments, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and AXA Investment Managers.