The high scorers in the Index
The pharmaceutical companies that score highly in the Access to Medicine Index, including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson, have well-established access strategies with wide-ranging initiatives in low- and middle-income countries. Indeed, GSK has remained the leader in the Index since its inception in 2008. The company has a comprehensive access strategy bolstered by a large R&D pipeline targeting priority diseases (defined by the World Health Organization) impacting people in low- and middle-income countries.
Interestingly, for the first time GSK’s Index score was only slightly higher than another company’s – Novartis. Since 2018, Novartis has taken some major steps forward, including creating a dedicated unit for sub-Saharan Africa, which has the largest underserved patient population in the world. We are encouraged by Novartis’ increased focus on access in low-income countries, because the Access to Medicine Foundation’s research has shown that they are consistently overlooked by pharmaceutical companies’ access strategies, which tend to target middle-income countries like Brazil and India.