Access to Medicine Index 2014: further expansion of generic licensing and geographical scope of licenses needed to improve access to HIV medicine

19 February 2015

Top pharmaceutical countries are continuing to work towards better access to medicine in developing countries, according to the latest Access to Medicine Index. Launched in Brussels in February 2015, the index shows that more companies are setting up novel business models to improve access and more generic licenses are being granted to companies in developing countries. For example, in the field of HIV/AIDS, 22 of the 33 antiretroviral agents currently on the market have each been licensed to at least 5 generic pharmaceutical manufacturers. However, to increase competition and lower prices, the index emphasizes the need to further expand licensing of on-patent on-market products to more manufacturers and across a wider geographical area.  The index also discusses the challenge of treating hepatitis C and the high costs of upcoming effective medicines. Citing the approach used to improve access to HIV/AIDS medicines after the 1990s, the Access to Medicine Index calls for new mechanisms “to ensure affordable medicines, incentives for innovation and new mechanisms for ensuring competition (such as those developed by the Medicines Patent Pool for HIV/AIDS).” To produce the index, Access to Medicine collects and analyses data from the top 20 research-based pharmaceutical companies. The aim of the Index is to “publicly recognize companies for their investments in access to medicine, raising awareness of relevant issues within pharmaceutical companies and providing them with a transparent means by which they can assess, monitor and improve their own performance as well as their public and investment profiles.”

»To read the full report, please follow this link.

Note: Antiviral Therapy recently published a supplement dedicated to the issue of access to antiretroviral medicine in middle-income and low-income countries. Click here to read the articles.