How pharma has improved patients' access to drugs since 2012
- The Access to Medicines Foundation (AMF) ranks pharmaceutical companies' efforts to make medicines more accessible to more people.
- Mechanisms to increase access include innovation, ethical behavior, and facilitating generic development.
- Although the AMF hails the pharma inudstry's willingness to increase access in its latest report, the foundation still has concerns about marketing practices and a lack of willingness to share patent information with generics manufacturers.
It's understood that making medicines accessible to developing countries makes sense, since that's where a lot of future growth lies. In this regard, the AMF points out some successful strategies pursued by pharma since 2012, including GSK offering patients in 11 Indian cities zero-interest loans to pay for hepatitis drugs and Novo Nordisk's efforts to tie diabetes diagnosis to treatment in community surgeries in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.
But despite efforts to expand access to medicine, marketing practices are still an Achilles' heel for the industry. In fact, 18 of the top 20 ranked pharma companies have either been involved in lawsuits related to marketing practices or have settled such suits out of court.