The Access to Medicine Foundation recently released the sixth Access to Medicine Index (ATMI), which ranks 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on their response to society’s expectations and how they address their social and business purposes. In conjunction with the release, investors, including Mercy Investment Services, attended the rollout and met with pharmaceutical companies to discuss the index’s findings.
Although the index recognizes the industry’s progress – including new or scaled-up programs for emerging markets, innovative pricing strategies, and creative approaches to intellectual property management – the index identifies many areas for improvement, such as:
- Companies should develop more access plans for bringing late-stage candidate cancer products to low-income populations in low- and middle-income countries. Currently, access plans are in place for only 5% of late-stage candidate cancer products, compared with 54% for communicable disease pipeline products.
- Companies currently apply their innovative pricing only to a few upper middle-income countries, like Brazil and China, and should tailor the pricing to low-income countries.
- Intellectual property arrangements need to be extended to diseases beyond HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
Mercy Investment Services and more than 80 fellow investors, with more than $11 trillion in assets under management, have signed the Investor Statement of the Access to Medicine Index, committing to use the index to inform their investment research and engagements with pharmaceutical companies. Mercy leads several engagements addressing these issues, including GlaxoSmithKline – ranked first in the ATMI – as well as Sanofi, Roche, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.