Drug Companies Ranked on Social Responsibility

The Access to Medicine Index, released earlier this week, evaluates drug companies from around the world on their efforts to make medicines available to people in developing countries.  According to an article from the New York Times, the list ranks companies according to how they “are doing at helping people at risk of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria” and other diseases prominent in developing areas.  (See this article from the Kaiser Network for an overview.)

According to the New York Times, the index ranks companies using “criteria like how cheaply they sell their products in poor countries, which drugs or vaccines they ship to which countries, whether they permit sales of generic versions of their patented drugs, how much they donate and how much research they do into neglected diseases.”

Four out of the five top-ranked companies are based in Europe.  The American company Merck ranked third.  Wim Leereveld, head of the Access to Medicine Foundation, made the following interesting comment to Reuters: “Europe is closer to Africa and has deeper relations with Africa. But it is also clear from issues like carbon emissions and climate change that there is something of a transatlantic divide on corporate social responsibility issues.”

The world’s largest drug company, Pfizer, ranked 17th on the list.  Abbott Labratories and Gilead Sciences, both of which have been targeted by AIDS advocates and protesters in recent years, ranked 12th and 15th respectively.


~ by h.e.g. on June 20, 2008.

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