The Access to Medicine Foundation aims to help poor people in
developing countries gain access to medicine by encouraging the
pharmaceutical industry to improve its commitments and practices
related to this issue. The Foundation’s major initiative is the
Access to Medicine Index, which analyzes and ranks the access to
medicine efforts of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
Over the last few years, much progress
has been made in improving access to
drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests in
developing countries. Several new
organizations and funding mechanisms
have been established and the
pharmaceutical industry has shown
increasing attention to both the need and
the business opportunities.
However, neglected tropical diseases
continue to cause significant health burden
while research to develop treatments for
them remains limited. Meanwhile, diarrhea
and pneumonia continue to be leading
child killers in low-income countries.
HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria remain
endemic in a large part of the world and
developing countries are experiencing an
increasing burden of non-communicable
diseases. For millions of people
worldwide, medications are expensive,
non-existent, inaccessible or of low quality.
Addressing the global access to medicine
problem demands the collaboration of
multiple international and national
stakeholders. However, there has been no
consensus on the role of the
pharmaceutical industry in this effort.
Several organizations have attempted to
define what should be expected from the
industry, but because many stakeholders,
including the pharmaceutical industry
itself, were not consulted, such initiatives
did not have a significant impact on