2021 Access to Medicine Index: GSK tops the list, followed Novartis and J&J

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.

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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.