E-DRUG: New study - Access to Medicine Foundation - 10 years of data on
pharma companies & access to medicine
[Comments from e-druggers are very welcome]
New study from the Access to Medicine Foundation analyses 10 years of data
on pharma companies and access to medicine
Dear e-drug colleagues,
We published a new report yesterday: An analysis of the R&D industries'
progress in access to medicines over the last 10 years, and those areas
which have remained neglected/stagnant.
We found evidence of progress, most notably in R&D, and in how companies
approach access strategically. Confirming the findings of our 2018 report,
a few companies are carrying the greater part of the load. Companies'
activity concentrates on a few diseases and countries.
The report covers 20 of the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical
companies, which together account for 70% of global pharmaceutical
revenues. They include highly diversified companies, such as GSK, Pfizer,
Novartis and Sanofi, which all have large generics divisions. Several
companies with a narrower focus, such as Gilead and Novo Nordisk, are also
included in the cohort.
These companies have been tracked in the Access to Medicine Index since
2008. The Index is now the longest-running independent study of
pharmaceutical company behaviour on access to medicine. Today's report
looks at the 47 diseases and conditions that have been consistently covered
by the Index since 2014.
The report is the first independent study of its kind. It provides a
springboard for discussions on how improvements can be sustained and
expanded by the pharmaceutical industry in order to achieve SDG 3 on health
and wellbeing by 2030.
With that in mind we would welcome any debate, conversation or feedback
this report generates - either bilaterally or via this forum. The timing is
ideal really, as we review the methodology for the Index to ensure it
remains focused in the lead-up to 2030.
The full report can be found here:
All the best
Research programme Manager - Access to Medicine Index
Danny Edwards <email@example.com>
A DEEPER LOOK
PHARMA COMPANIES ARE CHANGING HOW THEY DO BUSINESS
The report finds that several pharmaceutical companies are now doing
business in new, inclusive ways that aim to reach people on very low
incomes. Seven companies are running a total of ten inclusive business
models, eight of which are being expanded. Plus, 17 companies now set
measurable targets related to access to medicine, up from eight in 2010.
Yet, only some companies (9) are tackling the risks of unethical sales
behaviour by changing sales bonuses. Fewer companies (4) have consistently
supported international trade agreements designed to ensure the poorest
people can benefit from medical innovation.
R&D PIPELINES GROW: ESPECIALLY IN HIV/AIDS, MALARIA, TUBERCULOSIS
R&D pipelines have grown markedly, due to an effective recipe for engaging
pharmaceutical companies in specific R&D challenges for LMICs. The R&D
pipeline has more than doubled since 2014 for a set of 47 high-burden and
priority diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Plus, five
companies now systematically plan, as part of the R&D process, to address
access to successful projects. In general, R&D activity focuses on
commercial opportunities; more medicines for profitable non-communicable
diseases were developed than medicines for diseases of poverty between 2008
and 2018 (103 new medicines for the 47 diseases in scope compared to 68).
USE OF ACCESS TACTICS INCREASES, BUT MANY PRODUCTS NOT COVERED
Pharmaceutical companies have three main tactics for improving access to
health products: pricing, licensing and donations. All three tactics are
being used more frequently than before and in pro-access ways. For example,
access-oriented licensing has expanded steadily since 2010, now covering 29
compounds, including a complete suite of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C
treatments. In the future, the use of these tactics has potential to expand
to many more products in additional countries, so more people can benefit.
FACTORS DRIVING CHANGE
The report shows that, in specific areas, more companies are taking action
to improve global health than ten years ago. It also identifies an
effective recipe for bringing pharmaceutical companies on board. This
recipe consists of setting clear priorities endorsed by the international
community of experts in global health. It also requires publicly funded
mechanisms for reducing the risks companies face when investing in global
health, or for shaping markets with little prospect of profitability. The
recipe also calls for long-term and coordinated financial support from
multiple donors, and a sustained investment in health from national
governments, including to support healthy markets.
However this recipe is currently being used for only a few diseases and
conditions, such as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), HIV/AIDS and child
and maternal mortality. Similarly, the uptake of good practice is generally
confined to a comparatively small group of pioneering companies, a few
countries, and on a few diseases, such as NTDs, HIV/AIDS, malaria and
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