Big pharma generosity: Which drugmakers helped poor countries the most in 2016?

The Access to Medicine Foundation recently published the Access to Medicine Index 2016, which gauges how successful the world's 20 largest drug companies are at making their drugs and vaccines accessible to poor countries, reports The New York Times.

Wim Leerveld, a former pharmaceutical executive in the Netherlands, created the list in 2008. While drugmakers first hesitated to provide any information for the list, many now cooperate fully and compete for higher rankings.

The rankings, which come out every two years, stay relatively consistent. GlaxoSmithKline has held the number one spot on the list every year since 2008.

Collectively, the companies on the list offer 850 products to treat 51 diseases affecting poor and middle-income countries, according to Jayasree Iyer, executive director of the Access to Medicine Foundation.

Here are this year's rankings.

  1. GlaxoSmithKline (Brentford, UK)
  2. Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, N.J.)
  3. Novartis (Basel, Switzerland)
  4. Merck (Darmstadt, Germany)
  5. Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, N.J.)*
  6. Sanofi (Paris)
  7. AstraZeneca (London)
  8. Gilead Sciences (Foster City, Calif.)
  9. AbbVie (North Chicago, Ill.)
  10. Novo Nordisk (Bagsværd, Denmark)
  11. Eisai Co. (Tokyo)
  12. Bayer (Leverkusen, Germany)
  13. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (New York City)
  14. Pfizer (New York City)
  15. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (Osaka, Japan)
  16. Boehringer Ingelheim (Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany)
  17. Eli Lilly & Co. (Indianapolis)
  18. Daiichi Sankyo Co. (Tokyo)
  19. Roche Holding (Basel, Switzerland)
  20. Astellas Pharma (Tokyo)

To view the full Access to Medicine Index, click here.

*While Merck originally contained a European and American division, the two businesses split into separate companies.

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