The Access to Medicines Index (ATMI) published 2021 rankings. GSK was rated top in the list among the 20 companies, closely followed by Novartis and J&J. The ratings were based on the progress companies are making to provide access to medicines in 106 low- and middle-income countries.
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The ratings were provided considering three different factors: governance of access, research & development, and product delivery. The rating agency said that the leading companies took a mature approach to manage access, addressing access to emerging markets and poor countries.
In governing to access aspect, the rating agency said that eleven out of twenty companies demonstrated good practice by embedding to access-to-medicine strategy. GSK, Takeda, and Novartis topped the list in the governance to access aspect, followed by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and NovoNordisk.
The agency has captured 1,073 research and development projects across 82 diseases in terms of research and development: the main criteria being identifying diseases that cause the most significant burden on low- and middle- income countries. Seventeen of the twenty companies' responses to COVID-19 and 440 projects were targeted to provide clear health benefits for people living in low- and middle-income countries.
In terms of product delivery, Novartis topped the list. More than half of the products considered for the analysis were for non-communicable diseases. The Index identified that many low-income countries do not benefit significantly from the access strategies. Almost all countries (19/20) considered were working in partnership with different agencies to overcome the supply challenges.