Which Big Drug Companies Are Helping the Poor? Here’s the List
The pharmaceutical giant GSK, which has held first place in the Access to Medicine Index ever since its introduction in 2008, was ranked first again this week. The index measures how well the world’s top 20 pharma companies do at getting their drugs and vaccines — and often their scientific expertise — to the world’s poorest countries.
The list was created by Wim Leerveld, a Dutch former pharmaceutical executive, and grew with early support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch and British governments. At first, many drug companies ignored its requests for information.
Now, virtually all cooperate. Some have created global health divisions and even compete to do well on the list.
Positions in the rankings, issued every two years, have remained relatively constant, except for Japanese companies. They began as bottom dwellers and have slowly risen; the Eisai Company is now in 11th place. GSK has always led the list, but Andrew Witty, its chief executive, who took office in 2008 promising to do as much as he could for the poor in Africa and Asia, will retire in March.
- Health Care