GSK (NYSE: GSK) ranked number 1 in the Access to Medicine Index (ATMI) 2022, a report by a non-profit organization that ranks 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on progress in improving access in 108 countries with low revenue and focuses on 83 diseases.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) placed second, AstraZeneca (AZN) came third, Novartis (NVS) finished fourth and Merck KGaA (OTCPK:MKGAF) (OTCPK:MKKGY) took fifth place.
The report is published every two years by the Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF), a non-profit organization funded by the Dutch and UK governments, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust , and AXA Investment Managers.
“The 2022 Index reveals that industry-wide improvement in access planning and expansion of access strategies is still neglecting low-income countries. Companies must consider the depth of their plans, the strength of their supply chains and the fairness of their pricing strategies to reach the most vulnerable populations,” said James Hazel, Head of Research Program for the 2022 Index, AMF.
GSK CEO Emma Walmsley noted that the British pharmaceutical giant ranked first in the ATMI for the eighth consecutive time.
GSK said it would invest an additional £100 million over the next 10 years to support health system strengthening and access initiatives in low-income countries.
“We have the largest R&D pipeline in the industry addressing priority diseases for global health and we are committed to investing £1 billion over the next decade in global health R&D,” Walmsley added. .
The AMF, however, noted that although GSK retained the top spot, it was by a very narrow margin ahead of J&J, which rose from third place in 2021. AstraZeneca recently joined the top three, after rising from seventh place in the previous index. .
The AMF said that for the first time, the 20 companies in the scope report an access to medicines strategy, of which 19 integrate it into their overall corporate strategy.
The organization added that the index has also seen companies increase access and strengthen delivery of their products in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with GSK, Pfizer (PFE) and Takeda (TAK) standing out. .
In addition, more companies have entered into voluntary licensing agreements, making their patented products available for generic manufacture, the AMF added.
Novartis (NVS) had licensed the leukemia drug nilotinib to the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool.
Pfizer, Takeda, Sanofi (SNY), Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF) (OTCPK:BAYRY) and Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) (OTCQX:RHHBF) were the other top 10 out of the 20.