For the 2024 Index, the Foundation interviewed over 100 global health stakeholders to refine the Methodology and reach consensus on enhancing and/or updating its metrics.
The increased focus on patient reach is reflected in many of the changes to the Methodology, particularly in the Governance of Access and Product Delivery Technical Areas.
Five countries have been added to the geographic scope since the 2022 Index: Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Marshall Islands and Saint Lucia.
The 2022 Access to Medicine Index identified that while the pharmaceutical industry has made systematic progress in widening the scale and scope of access to their products, the impact of this progress is uneven across low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Critically, marginalised populations, and people living in low-income countries, are particularly vulnerable to access barriers – leaving them without the medicines and treatments they need and deserve.
Building on the previous Index, and based on evolving stakeholder expectations of company behaviour, the 2024 Index will continue to guide and incentivise companies to accelerate progress and expand their access efforts. A significant change to the 2024 Index Methodology is a greater emphasis on assessing how companies measure impact – specifically how they monitor the number of patients in LMICs with access to their essential healthcare products.
The 2024 Access to Medicine Index will be an important reality check for companies on their impact in reaching patients, especially underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries. We’ve seen the power of pharmaceutical companies when they take action – we now need them to demonstrate how they are addressing persistent gaps in access so that their products reach the people who need them most.
What will the 2024 Index measure?
The increased focus on patient reach is reflected in many of the enhancements and updates across the 2024 Index Methodology, which will analyse the same 20 pharmaceutical companies across the same three Technical Areas as in 2022: Governance of Access, Research and Development, and Product Delivery. These Technical Areas are divided into 15 Priority Topics (14 in 2022), with a total of 32 indicators (31 in 2022) measuring company performance.
Notably, patient reach is now included within Governance of Access as a priority topic, along with a standalone patient reach indicator. Among these changes, other updates and modifications across the Technical Areas have resulted in a total of 32 indicators in the 2024 Index Methodology (31 in 2022), divided into 15 priority topics (14 in in 2022).
The 2024 Access to Medicine Index will measure and compare company policies and behaviour for 81 diseases, conditions and pathogens (83 in 2022) across the same product types as in 2022. Company actions will be measured in 113 LMICs, with Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Marshall Islands and Saint Lucia newly added to the geographic scope.
All the scopes and indicators, including descriptions and rationales for changes, are listed in the 2024 Index Methodology Report. The process of data collection, verification, scoring and analysis will now begin, with the 2024 Access to Medicine Index slated for publication in November next year.
By asking companies to more clearly define, measure, and report on their impact in reaching patients, we can assess successful strategies and also help companies to identify gaps in access, address disparities, and better allocate resources. Additionally, assessing patient reach can help stakeholders – including governments, non-governmental organisations, and investors – make informed decisions regarding partnerships, policies and investments.
At a glance: Analytical scopes for 2024
20 of the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical companies, selected based on their market capitalisation and revenue, and the relevance of their product portfolios and pipelines for the diseases and countries in scope of the Index.
23 communicable diseases
16 non-communicable diseases
20 neglected tropical diseases
10 maternal and newborn health conditions
12 priority pathogens
Company actions are measured in low- and middle-income countries, where better access to medicine is urgently needed. Five countries have been added since the 2022 Index: Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon, Marshall Islands and Saint Lucia.
Medicines, microbicides, preventive vaccines, therapeutic vaccines, vector control products, platform technologies, diagnostics, contraceptive methods and devices.
How was the 2024 Index Methodology developed?
The publication of each Access to Medicine Index is the culmination of a two-year process known as the ‘Index cycle’, which starts with an extensive review of the Index Methodology. The 2024 Methodology review commenced in 2023, with the Index team carrying out a targeted internal review of the analytical framework, scopes, and indicators used in the 2022 Index. The Foundation interviewed over 100 global health stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies, to refine the 2024 Index Methodology and reach consensus on enhancing and/or updating metrics. This was followed by an external review to reaffirm the consensus view among stakeholders on the appropriate role of pharmaceutical companies in improving access to medicine in LMICs.
Through this process, the Foundation ensures the analytical framework, and its metrics, are aligned with societal expectations as to how pharmaceutical companies can make their products available, accessible, affordable, and of good quality to people living in LMICs.
Ninth iteration of the Access to Medicine Index
Since 2008, the Access to Medicine Foundation has published its biannual Access to Medicine Index, which evaluates and compares 20 the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical companies on their efforts to expand access to their innovative products in LMICs. The 2024 Access to Medicine Index will be the ninth edition of the Index, which is the longest-running assessment of the pharmaceutical industry’s actions to improve access to medicine in LMICs.
The Index is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and AXA Investment Managers.