A research programme by the Access to Medicine Foundation
Publication - published on 14 Nov 2016

2016 Access to Medicine Index

The Access to Medicine Index is an independent initiative that ranks the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies according to what they are doing for the millions of people in developing countries who do not have reliable access to medicine. It finds that GSK, which leads the Index for the fifth time, performs best when it comes to matching its access activities with particular needs within the access to medicine agenda. 

GSK is joined at the top of the Index by a closely packed group comprising Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Merck KGaA. The pharmaceutical industry is extremely diverse, and this is reflected in the way each company approaches access to medicine. However, the four companies in this leadership group share some distinguishing characteristics. They have the most mature access programmes, with well-organised access strategies that support business development in emerging markets, where the need for access to medicine is high. They also show the most evidence of addressing independently identified high-priority needs.

The 2016 Index has assessed the extent to which a company’s access operations are needs-oriented: where actions match specific priorities identified by, for instance, countries, the global health community or the Index. In this regard, the Index analysis reveals uneven performance.


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View our detailed overview of each company’s performance in the Index, including breakdowns of their product portfolios and R&D pipelines.