Pricing, Manufacturing & Distribution

Company Performance


  1. Gilead Sciences
  2. GlaxoSmithKline
  3. Johnson & Johnson


  1. Merck KGaA
  2. Johnson & Johnson
  3. Pfizer


  1. AstraZeneca plc
  2. Boehringer-Ingelheim
  3. Merck and Co.

Further Reading


2012 Company Ranking Pricing

What Matters

  • Using tiered pricing schemes, anti-diversionary product adaptation and monitoring sales agent mark-ups in order to increase affordability of medicines
  • Monitoring of and transparency around compliance with international manufacturing and quality standards, with policies,  practices and transparency around product recalls
  • Seeking early product prequalification and market registration to enable maximum availability to those in need 

Key Trends


Gilead rises in rank by one place to lead in this area overall, with tieredpricing programmes for its antiretrovirals in a large number of countries, packaging differentiation for tiers and full public disclosure of pricing differentials. The company also excels in obtaining WHO 
prequalification for its products and by being transparent in its processes for product registration.

GlaxoSmithKline falls in rank by one place to 2nd, with tiered pricing covering a large number of products but with a narrower geographic scope than Gilead and without anti-diversionary packaging differentiation for all its applicable products. Glaxo-SmithKline has also had product recalls due to quality issues and has only disclosed details of these recalls upon engagement with the Index. However, the company has strong commitments in multiple areas, including for monitoring pricing practices of sales agents and third parties, for quality control and for  distribution. In addition, the company has generally high levels of disclosure. 

Johnson & Johnson comes 3rd, moving up five places since 2010. This is based on increased disclosure of its tiered pricing programmes. The company is a strong performer on WHO prequalification and quality control. 

Most improved

Merck KGaA has also improved significantly since 2010, rising by seven places to 13th by disclosing for the first time its tiered pricing programme, a scheme that is average in terms of products and geographic scope. Additionally, the company has robust performance on quality control. It however lacks concrete commitments for monitoring product price across its supply chain and for product registration. 

Pfizer rises by four places to rank 9th, through a significant improvement in its commitments and performance. Pfizer’s tiered pricing programme is extensive in its product and geographic scope, but the company lacks transparency regarding drug recalls, registration policy, quality control, and monitoring of product pricing along the supply chain. 


Boehringer-Ingelheim drops five places to rank 10th, remaining static in its approach to tiered pricing and not disclosing information regarding its quality management system, drug recalls or product registration strategy. 

AstraZeneca falls five places to rank 17th, with no tiered pricing programmes in scope and no commitment to register products in countries covered by the Index. The company has also had product recalls and is not transparent about them. 

Merck & Co. loses five places and now ranks 8th, due to lack of disclosure on both drug recalls and quality management systems in countries of relevance to the Index. 

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