Capability Advancement

Company Performance


  1. GlaxoSmithKline 
  2. Sanofi 
  3. Johnson & Johnson 


  1. Novo Nordisk 
  2. Sanofi 
  3. Merck KGaA 


  1. AstraZeneca 
  2. Eli Lilly 
  3. Merck & Co. and Novartis 

Further Reading

2012 Capability (pdf)

2012 Company Ranking Capability

What Matters

  • Working with developing countries to enhance their QMS, supply chain capabilities, health research capacities and pharmacovigilance programmes
  • Engagement with in-country stakeholders to understand requirements for local capability building
  • Sustained, long-term commitment to and delivery of capability building initiatives
  • Initiatives throughout the pharmaceutical value chain and outside it where possible

Key Trends

In many companies there has been an increase in activity, although when examined against the extensive needs of relevant countries, companies are still doing relatively little. It should be noted that the bar is set low, with companies only needing to demonstrate that between 2010 and 2012 they were involved in more than five partnerships, training workshops or other ad hoc events for a particular area to get the highest score.


GlaxoSmithKline leads in this area overall, being among the leaders in in-country training and workshops related to Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and by being active across other the areas, building capabilities in pharmacovigilance, supply chains and research and development (R&D).

Sanofi follows in 2nd place, by also being in the lead group for training and workshops on QMS and GMP, by being active in R&D capability building and in initiatives outside the core pharmaceutical value chain. The company also scores well in innovation in its approach to building mental health treatment capabilities in Mauritania.

Johnson & Johnson, which ranks 3rd, scores well across multiple areas, in particular in building R&D capabilities, in activities outside the core pharmaceutical value chain, and in the key differentiating area of building pharmacovigilance capabilities.

Changes in the Index methodology from 2010 to 2012 make transparency around building pharmacovigilance capabilities a major differentiator for company performance in this Index and reflect a large degree of movement in company rankings in this area since 2010. For example, low levels of pharmacovigilance capability building and low levels of disclosure in this area are central to Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly falling in ranking. Johnson & Johnson, on the other hand, move from 8th place to 3rd largely due to the broad range of examples disclosed relating to building pharmacovigilance systems in multiple relevant countries.

Most improved

Outside the leaders group, Novo Nordisk has risen significantly in the rankings (from 16th to 4th), as a result of improved performance across many of the capability building areas. The company scores particularly well in the areas of QMS and GMP, in providing support to R&D and clinical trial capability building and for its contributions outside the core value chain. The Changing Diabetes in Children programme also involves a degree of innovation that increases the company’s score. 

Merck KGaA also rises (from 15th to 5th) on the back of its innovative Minilabs initiatives (outlined in the full chapter), as well as creditable performance in building QMS, GMP and R&D capabilities. 

You are here