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3 Dec 2012

Big pharma 'doing more to improve access in developing countries'

GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are doing the most to improve access to medicines in developing countries.

The top pharmaceutical companies have increased their efforts to improve access to medicines in developing countries, research has shown.

According to the latest Access to Medicine Index, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) still leads the pack in terms of its efforts in developing countries, with Johnson & Johnson climbing from ninth position in 2010 to second place this year.

The index, which ranks companies on their commitments, performance, innovation and levels of transparency, now features Sanofi in third place, while Takeda, Daiichi and Astellas languish at the bottom of the table.
Wim Leereveld, founder and chief executive officer of the Access to Medicine Index, said that companies are becoming more organised in their approach to access to medicine.

"The leaders are really raising the bar," he observed, adding: "It's also clear that companies that do not continue to step up their efforts tend to be overtaken by their peers."

Another finding is that many companies are focusing more on products that affect the world's poorest people, with some devoting as much as one-fifth of their pipeline to these medicines.

There has also been an increase in the use of tiered pricing schemes that offer lower prices to certain countries.

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