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GSK tops ranking for making drugs available to poor people

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 20 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4919
  1. Rebecca Coombes
  1. The BMJ

GSK, Novartis, Johnson and Johnson, and Merck KGaA have retained their 2016 positions as the leading drug companies in terms of making their products available to patients in low and middle income countries, an independent ranking shows.

The Access to Medicines (AtM) Index, published every two years, ranks 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies according to their work in this area.1

The bottom five companies are named as Bayer, Abbvie, Daiichi Sankyo, Astellas, and Eli Lilly. Of these five, only Bayer and Eli Lilly have strategies in place for improving access to drugs.

The index found that five companies were carrying out 63% of the most urgently needed research and development projects: GSK, Johnson and Johnson, Merck KGaA, Novartis, and Sanofi (fig 1).

Fig 1

Ranking of 20 drug companies by numbers of priority R&D projects

The index has …

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