Hivos, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others sign Millennium Agreement for Access To Medicine
One of three people in the world lack access to essential, affordable drugs or vaccines. In the case of Aids, nearly 70 percent of people who seriously need medicines do not get them. Improving access to medicines for these people could save millions of lives each year. The Access to Medicine Index, initiated and led by the Access to Medicine Foundation, monitors and publishes the efforts made by the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies towards increasing access to medicines for poor countries. The Access to Medicine Index ranks pharmaceutical companies on their policies and practices, which helps hold them accountable.
Another important aspect of the Access to Medicine Index is that it provides objective information on the performance of pharmaceutical companies, which can be used by socially responsible investors in their investment decisions. There is a growing number of investors, consumers and other actors who are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to ensure that the pharmaceutical industry work towards a global access to medicines. As at now, 16 institutional investors, together managing more than US$1500 billion in assets, have signed an investor statement highlighting their interest in the Access to Medicine Index.
The Access to Medicine Index complements the advocacy work of the Southern partners of Hivos, where they engage their governments to make medicines affordable and accessible.