2016 Access to Medicine Index launched in UK at Houses of Parliament

Access to Medicine Index

On Tuesday 6 December, members of the UK parliament co-hosted the UK launch of the 2016 Access to Medicine Index. The event focused on UK-based pharmaceutical companies and the role of government in improving access to medicine for the world’s poorest.

This invitation-only event provided an opportunity for people in different areas of access to medicine, including the pharmaceutical industry, to discuss the findings of the 2016 Access to Medicine Index. The event focused on UK-based pharmaceutical companies, and how they are responding to global health priorities. The discussion centered on how such companies can be encouraged to further access to their products for people living in low- and middle-income countries.

The launch was co-hosted by Wendy Morton MP (Conservative), Baroness Lindsay Northover (Liberal Democrat) and Virendra Sharma MP (Labour). Wendy Morton MP is member of the International Development Committee and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Sustainable Development Goals. Baronness Northover is Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. Virendra Sharma MP is member of the International Development Committee and Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis.

Speakers

  • Dr Jayasree K. Iyer, Executive Director, Access to Medicine Foundation
  • James Wharton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for International Development (TBC)
  • Sir Andrew Witty, Chief Executive Officer, GlaxoSmithKline plc
  • Marc Mallon, Executive Vice President, Global Product & Portfolio Strategy, Global Medical Affairs & Corporate Affairs, International, AstraZeneca plc

The invited participants were drawn from across the sectors addressing access-to-medicine, including from NGOs, government departments, patient groups, research organisations, investors and the pharmaceutical industry.

About the Access to Medicine Index

The Access to Medicine Index analyses 20 of the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical companies with products for high-burden diseases in low- and middle-income countries. The Index ranks these companies according to their efforts to improve access to medicine in seven areas of corporate behaviour, including pricing, patents, ethical behaviour and donations. It covers 107 low- and middle-income countries and 50 high-burden diseases, and examines eight types of products, from medicines to vaccines to diagnostics. The Index identifies best practices, highlights where progress is being made, and uncovers where critical action is still required. In this way, the Index provides both an incentive and a guide for pharmaceutical companies to do more to improve access to medicine. It is published every two years by the Access to Medicine Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation.

About the Access to Medicine Foundation

The Access to Medicine Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands. It aims to advance access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries by stimulating and guiding the pharmaceutical industry to play a greater role in improving access to medicine. The Foundation is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK Department for International Development. For ten years, the Foundation has been building consensus on the role for the pharmaceutical industry in improving access to medicine and vaccines. It published its first benchmark of industry activity in this area in 2008, in the first Access to Medicine Index.

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