The Access to Medicine Index ranks the world’s 20 largest companies according to their efforts to improve or hinder access to medicine in developing countries. The Index, published every two years, by the Access to Medicine Foundation pretends to be independent.
The mentioned aim of the Medicine Index is to encourage pharmaceutical companies to make their products more available, affordable and accessible for the millions of people in developing countries that do not have reliable access to medicines of quality.
The Index analyses 101 indicators to assess the level of commitment of the company looking at its transparency, its specific activities and its innovation. The Index covers 103 countries, and 33 diseases. A variety of products such as medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tests and other health-related technologies are dealt with.
Despite many difficulties, the 2012 Access to Medicine Index finds that companies are cooperating with the global health community and with each other to improve access to health care in the developing world. More than 60% of companies now have direct board ownership of access to medicine. Despite the current financial crisis companies are showing a willingness and readiness to attack the global health crisis. A lot of seminars and conferences are financed around global health and how to improve access to health care in the developing countries, to show that they share their expertise and know-how with those who need it.
The Index has no responsibility in the practices of the private sector. It just provides an insight for companies, the global health and the investor communities, to stimulate co-operation among all stakeholders in order to improve health care in the developing world.