Pharmaceutical companies are becoming more organised in their approach and the Index leaders are increasingly coming to view access as a strategic issue. Access to medicine has landed in more boardrooms.

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The industry is doing more to improve access to medicine than it was doing in 2010. Seventeen out of the 20 companies saw their scores increase and more companies have joined the ranks of the leaders.

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Few companies report having robust measures to ensure clinical trials conducted by contractors are safe and ethical, with the majority providing no evidence of exerting real influence over the way their contractors conduct trials.

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More companies are developing more products, and some now devote 20% of their pipeline to developing new products and adapting existing ones to address the needs of the poor.

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More companies are using tiered pricing schemes, and applying them to a broader range of products and in more countries, but it is unclear whether the price reductions are enough to meaningfully increase affordability.

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GlaxoSmithKline remains top of the league table, but its lead is shrinking, with two newcomers, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi, moving into the top three closely behind and more companies joining the ranks of the leaders. The industry as a whole is gradually progressing.

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Methodology Highlights

Methodology Report

Index Ranking 2012

Latest News

New insights to be presented at WHO/WIPO/WTO and ASTMH meetings

1 September 2014 |

Members of the Index team are preparing to present new insights based on current data at the WHO/WIPO/WTO symposium in Geneva, and at the 63rd ASTMH Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

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Joep Lange will be greatly missed

18 July 2014 |

We were deeply saddened to learn that HIV pioneer Joep Lange died in the aircrash above Ukraine on 17 July. Joep Lange was a member of the Foundation’s Advisory Committee.

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2014 Index: point-by-point analysis begins

17 June 2014 |

The analysis at the heart of the 2014 Access to Medicine Index has begun: the Index team is now conducting a point-by-point comparison of companies’ performances, policies and practices for improving access to medicine.

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Data-collection update: clarification has begun

9 April 2014 |

Data-collection for the 2014 Access to Medicine Index has entered the next stage: following a detailed evaluation of the data, the 21 pharmaceutical companies have started clarifying and supplementing their data. Head of Research, Jayasree K.

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R&D for TB: medicines against drug-resistant TB is the main focus for big pharma

22 March 2014 |


The World Health Organisation has placed drug-resistant tuberculosis on the agenda of its 67th World Health Assembly, which will take place on 19-24 May, 2014.

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How we Measure

What Leaders Say

Dr. Margaret Chan
Director-General, World Health Organization
"The Access to Medicine Index is a very important project. What gets measured, gets done."
Bill Gates
Chairman of Microsoft Corporation, Co-Chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
"When I talk to executives from pharmaceutical companies they tell me that they want to do more for neglected diseases, but they at least need to get credit for it. The Access to Medicine Index does exactly that."
Lilianne Ploumen
Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, the Netherlands
“The Access to Medicine Index mobilizes the strength of the private sector, impacting the lives of millions of the most vulnerable people on earth. It showcases the synergy of aid, trade and investment.”
Knut Kjaer
Former CEO of RiskMetrics Group, Former CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) (1997-2007)
"Companies are beginning to understand that the value of corporate social responsibility programmes is not only the opportunity to do the right thing but that it's good for business as well. The Access to Medicine Index provides companies with a chance to improve performance and explore new business models while helping societies in need."

In the Media

IP Watch talks to Hans Hogerzeil about how the Index works

20 March 2014 |

IP Watch interviews Hans Hogerzeil about how the Access to Medicine Index recognises good pharma practice, and about the importance of measuring companies' efforts to increase access to medicine.

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The Lancet Global Health publishes Index’s first longitudinal analysis

31 January 2014 |

Writing in The Lancet Global Health, Professor Hans Hogerzeil and members of the Index Research Team set out the findings of the first longitudinal analysis based on the Access to Medicine Index – you can read the report in full

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The Economist references the Access to Medicine Index

14 November 2013 |
The Economist profiles the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT), a Japanese research partnership focused on developing treatments for malaria, tuberculosis and Chagas disease.
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De Volkskrant outlines progress towards global disease elimination

1 October 2013 |

Carlijne Vos writes about MSD (Merck & Co.'s) work in eliminating river blindness in the context of global efforts to eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases. The Foundation's Head of Research, Jayasree Iyer, comments with regard to big pharma's role in these initiatives.

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Hans Hogerzeil authors New England Journal of Medicine article on Access to Medicine Index

5 September 2013 |
The New England Journal of Medicine published a perspective article written by Hans Hogerzeil.
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