Out in March: the first Access to Vaccines Index
Vaccines are one of the most powerful and cost effective health interventions available. Yet WHO states that an estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide are still missing out on basic vaccines. Vaccine preventable diseases still cost millions of lives each year.
The Access to Vaccines Index is a new data-driven tool that maps how eight key vaccine companies are responding to global calls to increase access to vaccines for populations at risk of disease. By uncovering which access mechanisms are working in the vaccine industry, where and why, the Index is intended to help ensure global vaccine markets serve all populations. The Access to Vaccines Index is an independent initiative of the Access to Medicine Foundation, and is funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery.
What the Access to Vaccines Index measures
The eight companies in scope include the largest global players in the vaccine market and companies with significant potential for improving access to vaccines: Daiichi Sankyo, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Sanofi, Serum Institute of India and Takeda. 
The Index has analysed the efforts of these companies to develop, manufacture and supply preventive vaccines for 69 high-priority diseases across 107 low- and middle-income countries. More than half of the diseases in scope do not yet have effective vaccines on the market, although all are deemed potentially vaccine preventable. People living in the 107 countries are estimated to face some of the highest barriers to full immunisation.
What will the report cover?
Out on 6 March, the 2017 Access to Vaccines Index report will set out how companies are addressing access in three industry-level analyses: Research & Development, Pricing & Registration and Manufacturing & Supply. These are the three research areas where vaccine companies have the largest role to play in improving access, and where a benchmark of company behaviour could have the most impact. The performance of the individual companies will also be summarised in a set of report cards, each with an analysis of the company’s strengths, areas of focus, and opportunities to further improve access to vaccines.
Additionally, The Index has also evaluated company action regarding issues that cut across the three research areas. The first of two case studies looks at how the first malaria and dengue vaccines were developed and deployed, covering the unique challenges for access faced in each case, and the next steps toward successful implementation; the second highlights the importance of vaccines in responding to emerging infectious diseases, such as Zika and Ebola, as well as the barriers imposed by the current market-driven R&D model, and steps that companies and other stakeholders are taking – or have yet to take – to overcome them.
The 2017 Access to Vaccines Index will be published on Monday 6, March, 2017. 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 Anna Massey.
 AstraZeneca was included in the scope at the time of the methodology publication but has since been excluded from this analysis.
About the Access to Vaccines Index
The 2017 Access to Vaccines Index will provide an initial baseline of industry activity regarding access to vaccines. It examines where and how companies are already taking action, and brings good practices to the attention of other companies and stakeholders working in the vaccines space. These organisations will be able to use the Index to inform priorities and strategies, and to clarify where new incentives are needed to spur greater positive change. During 2016, the Foundation’s research team will analyse the data captured by the first Access to Vaccines Index, which will be published early in 2017. The Access to Vaccines Index is funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery.
About the Access to Medicine Foundation
The Access to Medicine Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organisation based in the Netherlands. It aims to advance access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries by stimulating and guiding the pharmaceutical industry to play a greater role in improving access to medicine. The Foundation is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK Department for International Development. For ten years, the Foundation has been building consensus on the role for the pharmaceutical industry in improving access to medicine and vaccines. It published its first benchmark of industry activity in this area in 2008, in the first Access to Medicine Index. The fifth Access to Medicine Index was published in November 2016. In 2017, the Foundation will publish the first Access to Vaccines Index, funded by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, and the first AntiMicrobial Benchmark, funded by the UK and Dutch governments.