GSK tops Access to Medicine Index, to invest £100M for initiatives in low income countries

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GSK (NYSE:GSK) ranked number 1 in the 2022 Access to Medicine Index (ATMI), a report carried out by a non-profit organization that ranks 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies on progress to improve access in 108 lower income countries and focuses on 83 diseases.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) was ranked second, AstraZeneca (AZN) came in third, Novartis (NVS) was fourth and Merck KGaA (OTCPK:MKGAF) (OTCPK:MKKGY) took the fifth spot.

The report is published every two years by the Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF), a non-profit organization funded by the Dutch and U.K. governments, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and AXA Investment Managers.

“The 2022 Index finds that industry-wide improvement in planning for access and expanding access strategies still overlooks low-income countries. Companies must consider the depths of their plans, strength of their supply chains, and equity of their pricing strategies to reach the most vulnerable populations,” said James Hazel, Research Program Manager for the 2022 Index, AMF.

GSK CEO Emma Walmsley noted that the British pharma giant ranked first in the ATMI for the eighth consecutive time.

GSK said it will invest an additional £100M over the next 10 years to support health system strengthening and access initiatives in lower income countries.

“We have the largest R&D pipeline in the industry addressing global health priority diseases and have committed to invest £1 billion over the next decade in global health R&D,” Walmsley added.

AMF, however, noted that though GSK retained the number one spot, it was by a very narrow margin ahead of J&J, which moved up from third in 2021. AstraZeneca newly joined the top three, having risen from the seventh spot in the previous index.

AMF said that for the first time, all 20 companies in scope report an access-to-medicine strategy, with 19 integrating this into their overall corporate strategy.

The organization added that the index also saw companies increasing access and strengthening 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 engaged in voluntary licensing agreements, making their on-patent products available for generic manufacturing, AMF added.

Novartis (NVS) had licensed leukemia drug nilotinib to UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool.

Pfizer, Takeda, Sanofi (SNY), Bayer (OTCPK:BAYZF) (OTCPK:BAYRY) and Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) (OTCQX:RHHBF) were the others among the top 10, out of the 20.

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