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Report finds Big Pharma is doing more for access to medicine in developing countries
Date:11/28/2012

r skin at home. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson is collaborating to develop a simple portable rapid screening test for tuberculosis that doesn't need to be operated by a health professional, requires patients to simply cough into a breathalyser, and yields results within minutes.

In addition, more companies are using tiered pricing schemes to lower prices for certain countries or population groups within a country, and applying them to a broader range of products and in more countries.

However, there are still several areas where all companies could improve their approaches significantly. These include being more transparent about their lobbying practices, expanding their tiered pricing schemes, adapting packaging to local needs, making their drug donations more needs-based, and allowing their clinical trial data to be used to accelerate the approval of generic medicines in developing countries.

An area where current industry performance falls far short of Index expectations is transparency around the outsourcing of clinical trials to Contract Research Organisations (CROs). Companies often hire them to conduct clinical trials on their behalf in developing countries, but no company is publicly transparent about all the CROs they employ. Company accountability involves ensuring the wellbeing of trial participants through adequate due diligence in selecting these contractors, monitoring how they conduct the trials and willingness to enforce codes of conduct with disciplinary action. However, only four companies (Merck & Co., Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline and Eisai) provided evidence that they use disciplinary measures to enforce codes of conduct with their CROs to ensure that trials of their products are conducted safely and ethically.

"Access to medicine is a multi-faceted challenge and therefore responsibility for improving it lies with a number of different actors, but the pharmaceutical industry has a critical role to play. While the Ind
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Contact: Suzanne Wolf
swolf@atmindex.org
31-235-339-187
Access to Medicine Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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