- A professor at Binghamton University has developed an index to measure pharmaceutical companies' commitment to effectively addressing the unmet medical need for infectious disease (ID) treatments in the nations where they are most needed, Ed Silverman reports.
- The Global Health Impact Index measures three metrics, including the need for various ID treatments for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria, as well as the effectiveness of available treatments and the total number of people who can access the drugs.
- All told, there were 16 pharmaceutical companies evaluated, with Sanofi ranking the highest and Kyorin ranking the lowest.
Lately, there has been a focus on the unmet medical needs associated with various type of infectious diseases, mainly in the developing world. Part of this is driven by the very public focus on the Ebola epidemic. However, there are other, less "exotic" needs that have long been a medical scourge in parts of the developing world, including malaria.
Now, the pressure is on. In terms of how companies fared under the new index, Sanofi was at the top of the list, closely followed by Novartis and Pfizer. Kyorin came in last, with Bayer and Eli Lilly hovering near the bottom of the list. To the company's credit, Lilly has asserted that it set up a separate foundation to address ID needs, specifically through support for trade-making and manufacturing of two tuberculosis medications.
The goal of the index's creator, Associate Professor of Philosophy Nicole Houssan, is to create a "seal of approval" for companies that excel in this space, while also promoting a sense of corporate responsibility and nurturing productive competition between companies working to create solutions for ongoing ID challenges.