Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Access to Medicine Foundation?
The Access to Medicine Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands, which analyses how the world's largest pharmaceutical companies are addressing access to medicine. The Foundation’s mission is to stimulate and guide pharmaceutical companies to do more for the people who live in low- and middle-income countries.

What research does the Access to Medicine Foundation undertake?
The Foundation has three main research programmes:

The Access to Medicine Index ranks 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies based on seven areas of behaviour linked to access: strategy, governance, R&D, pricing, licensing, capacity building and donations. By publicly recognising the best performers, the Index spurs companies to compete to be the best. The Index is the most comprehensive, long-running survey of pharmaceutical company behaviour regarding access to medicine. 

The Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark evaluates how 30 pharmaceutical companies are responding to the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It is the first research programme to compare what pharmaceutical companies are doing to bring AMR under control. By highlighting where good ideas are being implemented, the Benchmark encourages their wider uptake.

The Access to Vaccines Index maps what eight major vaccine companies are doing to ensure all children can be immunised, wherever they live. By uncovering what is working and where, the Index helps ensure vaccine markets also reach the poorest and most remote communities. The Index was published on 6 March 2017. 

Does the Foundation publish any other research?
The Foundation publishes thematic studies, topic-specific analyses of how pharmaceutical companies are responding to access-to-medicine challenges, such as providing access to hepatitis C medicines, or to maternal health; improving access to cancer care and issues facing the security of antibiotic supply.

How does the Access to Medicine Foundation drive change?
The Foundation's mission is to stimulate and guide pharmaceutical companies to do more for the people who live in low- and middle-income countries. To achieve this, it takes its research as a starting point and applies a three-part model for change: 1) building stakeholder consensus on where pharmaceutical companies can and should be taking action to improve access to medicine; 2) stimulating pharma companies to compete on priority health topics, for example by publishing independent studies; and 3) sharing best practices and spurring collaboration, including by engaging with experts and leaders from across the industry and access-to-medicine space.

How is the Access to Medicine Foundation funded?
The Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation, funded by the UK and Dutch governments and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation is a registered charity in the Netherlands (ANBI status).

Who governs the Access to Medicine Foundation?
The Foundation is led by the Executive Board, represented by Jayasree K. Iyer, Executive Director. The Executive Board is responsible for the Foundation’s organisational and strategic development and day-to-day operations. 

The Foundation has a Supervisory Board that oversees the management and strategic direction of the Foundation. The Supervisory Board also has an advisory function. The board meets every quarter and regular agenda topics include: strategy, finance, risk management and staffing.

How and when was the Access to Medicine Foundation founded?
The Access to Medicine Foundation was founded in 2003 by Dutch entrepreneur, Wim Leereveld. It started with a single idea: how can we encourage the pharmaceutical industry to do more to help the world’s poorest people access the medicine they need?

Over the next five years, many of the leading minds already working on this question were approached to cooperate with the Foundation. The result was consensus around a list of ambitious, but achievable actions for pharmaceutical companies to take.

In 2008, this list formed the basis of the first Access to Medicine Index, ranking 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on their policies and practices for improving access to medicine. It was the first Index to focus on a specific industry sector and topic related to corporate social responsibility.

Since then, The Access to Medicine Index has been published every two years. Under the leadership of Dr. Jayasree K. Iyer, who became Executive Director in 2015, the Access to Medicine Foundation has gone on to expand its research programmes to cover antimicrobial resistance and access to vaccines.


Learn more

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