access to medicines

Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson announced on Tuesday the creation of a nonprofit unit, Sanofi Global Health, which will provide 40 lower-income countries with access to 30 of the company’s “most essential medicines,” including cardiovascular, diabetes, tuberculosis, malaria and cancer treatments.

An accompanying press release said Sanofi Global Health will be the cornerstone of the Paris-based company’s corporate social responsibility strategy for “access to medicines, support for vulnerable…

The Access to Medicine (AtM) Foundation last week published a pediatric analysis of additional results from its 2021 AtM Index, finding just 7% of pharmaceutical companies’ R&D is for children under 12, despite significant gaps in treatment options for children.

The report praised GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi for being “the most active” in developing pediatric versions of products, and also named examples of drugs that “could each make a big difference” for LMICs: Eli…

CARB-X published compulsory guidance on Monday to ensure that new antibacterial products brought to market by its funded companies are used responsibly and made available to people in LMICs.

The Stewardship and Access Plan Development Guide—created by the Boston University-led nonprofit and its partners, including the Access to Medicine Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund, and…

The Lundquist Institute announced Monday that the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute will develop its synthetic lung surfactant formulation for use in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome in low- and middle-income countries.

The Los Angeles-based research institute currently maintains patents on the therapy in Canada, Europe and the United States.

Novartis announced Wednesday a collaboration with the Gates Foundation to develop an accessible in vivo gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) that could potentially be administered once, directly to a patient, without the need to modify the cells in a lab. The collaboration aims to provide affordable and practical gene therapy for low-resource settings, the press release said.

In other SCD news, Massachusetts-based Bluebird Bio announced Tuesday that it has temporarily suspended…

Pfizer announced Tuesday the launch of a new partnership with the Netherlands-based IDA Foundation to provide “equitable access to quality cancer treatments” in almost 70 low- and middle-income countries across Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Western Pacific region.

The agreement will allow developing country governments and non-governmental organizations to access 18 essential cancer treatments and 30 formulations from Pfizer’s portfolio, including options for treating breast,…

The IMPAACT4TB consortium announced Wednesday that it will roll out a new, patient-friendly preventive tuberculosis therapy in five high-burden countries, beginning in February.

Led by African NGO the Aurum Institute (with funding from Unitaid), the program will provide a fixed-dose combination of “3HP”—a short-course TB treatment combining rifapentine and isoniazid—to Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. An agreement between manufacturer Macleods, Unitaid and the Clinton…

For the seventh time in a row, GSK topped the Access to Medicine (AtM) Foundation’s ranking of leading pharma companies’ efforts to provide access to their products in low- and middle-income countries, according to the 2021 AtM Index, launched Tuesday. But the new index showed Novartis gaining on GSK compared to 2018—with the difference in scores falling to only 1.2%.

Overall, 17 of the 20 companies in the index improved their assessments, with Pfizer climbing the most to join the…

China’s National Healthcare Security Administration announced last week that it will add 119 new products to its annual national reimbursement drugs list, with an average price cut of 50.6%. Ninety-six of the additions are branded drugs with no generic versions available on the domestic market, including Novartis’ blockbuster inflammation drug Cosentyx, and Teva’s Austedo treatment for Huntington’s disease, according to Reuters.

WHO’s Market Information for Access (MI4A) to Vaccines initiative last week released its annual Global Vaccines Market Report (GVMR) and a new market study on rabies vaccines.

The GVMR said that while it cannot yet show the impact of Covid-19, the pandemic is “likely to alter vaccine markets for several years.” WHO estimated global vaccine market volumes for 2019 of 5.5 billion doses, with a global market value of $33 billion (both estimates exclude travel and military markets).…