Visitors Now:
Total Visits:
Total Stories:
Profile image
By Freedom Bunker
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

The Pharmaceutical Industry and Access to Medicines

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 13:31
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

44323995 - medicines arranged in shelves at pharmacyHaving written critically about a decision made by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to reject a donation of vaccines by Pfizer, Inc., I am grateful for a new report which ranks research-based pharmaceutical companies on a number of measurements of how they make medicines available to patients in low-income countries.

Jointly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and British and Dutch taxpayers, the Access to Medicine Index ranks 20 large drug makers. It is a very thorough report:

The Access to Medicine Index analyses the top 20 research-based pharmaceutical companies on how they make medicines, vaccines and diagnostics more accessible in low- and middle-income countries. It highlights best and innovative practices, and areas where progress has been made and where action is still required.

The 2016 Index used a framework of 83 metrics to measure company performances relating to 51 high-burden diseases in 107 countries.

One measure that shows little recent progress is affordability, as measured by pricing arrangements that take into account different abilities to pay in different countries. I find this approach odd, because any drug company maximizes profits by engaging in fine price differentiation. This means charging a low price in low-income countries, rather than shunning the market.

The only reason for a drug marker not to engage in this practice is concern that the drugs will be diverted to higher-income countries, cannibalizing profits. Thus, the drug maker has to be confident the distribution system in the low-income country will not suffer “leakage.”

The report also analyzes research and development regarding diseases for which therapies are not commercially profitable. It notes:

The majority (67%) of the R&D projects for high-priority, low-incentive products are being conducted in partnership, signalling that collaborative models are effective at engaging companies in R&D aimed at addressing priority product gaps. Three quarters of partnerships for high-priority, low-incentive products involve companies partnering with public, non-governmental and/or non-profit organisations.

I find it very encouraging that philanthropic enterprises (such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) are entering these partnerships with for-profit drug makers. It is a far healthier development than the old-fashioned approach of just beating up drug makers for their greed.

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.