The generics industry plays a critical role in widening access to medicine globally, primarily by manufacturing off-patent medicines at high volumes and supplying them at lower costs than the original patented medicines. Yet, despite this potential, generic and biosimilar medicines remain out of reach for many in LMICs.
A new assessment by the Access to Medicine Foundation, carried out using the Foundation’s first-of-its-kind Analytical Framework, profiles five of the world’s leading producers of generic and biosimilar medicines – Cipla, Hikma, Sun Pharma, Teva, and Viatris - and identifies what steps they are currently taking on key access-to-medicine priorities.
What's in the 2023 report?
Each profile assesses each company's respective performance against its own potential in terms of capabilities, portfolios, and scopes, and showcases its initiatives and strategies aimed at enhancing access to its products in LMICs. The profiles are divided into three research areas: Expanding Access, Supply & Quality, and Research & Development. Tailored opportunities for the companies to increase access are included within the Company Profiles.
The report includes four key findings that draw on data from across the companies. This analysis reveals insights related to product registration, affordability and access strategies, supply and local availability, and adaptive R&D. Each key finding also identifies where companies can focus their attention as they step up efforts to expand access to their essential medicines.
For the very first time, we're shining a spotlight on the actions, efforts, and commitments of leading generic and biosimilar medicine manufacturers to broaden access to lifesaving medicines in LMICs. Although there are standout examples of action, clear opportunities also exist for companies to ramp up their efforts and to work closely with local implementers, governments, and global health organisations to continue to break down barriers for the millions who either lack adequate access or are forced to go without the medicines they need.
Given their portfolios and footprints, these five companies can have a huge impact on access in LMICs. They can now work to significantly enhance their efforts by acting on the opportunities and the tailored recommendations set out in their respective company profiles. The findings in the report also demonstrate where other companies may be able to learn from their peers and adopt similar positive actions, where relevant, to further improve access and ensure their products reach the people who need them most – no matter where they live.