For the second time, Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies has been ranked among the top 20 largest pharmaceutical companies globally for its ongoing effort to overcoming barriers to access to healthcare, especially for vulnerable groups and communities in lower-to-middle-income countries.
The biopharmaceutical company is ranked number 12 amongst 20 of the largest pharmaceutical companies, climbing two places from last year in the bi-annual global Access-to-Medicine Index 2021.
The Access-To-Medicine ranking report acknowledges Boehringer Ingelheim’s solid foundation in Research & Development (R&D), which addresses the health needs of those residing in lower-to-middle income countries that are supported by high access plan coverage. For several years, Boehringer Ingelheim has made dedicated investments in R&D areas that are aligned with the focus of the index; this includes the Research Beyond Borders program, in which the company continues its search for new therapies for diseases such as tuberculosis, HBV, and Dengue fever as well as treating antimicrobial resistance.
Dr. Antonio Ruffolo, Head of Access To Healthcare and Global Health Policy at Boehringer Ingelheim commented on the occasion, “We see our new ranking as a strong encouragement to continue to work hard on making novel products available to lower-to-middle income countries and at affordable prices. Looking ahead, continued and substantial R&D investments in the relevant therapeutic areas, combined with a solid stream of candidates progressing towards Phase III, are expected to contribute to the progress of the late-stage portfolio over the coming years,” he said.
Boehringer Ingelheim has particularly invested in partnerships and initiatives designed to strengthen healthcare systems in the least-developed countries. This includes In-Reach Africa Initiatives “Kuza Afya” and “Tiba Yako” launched in Kenya. The efforts of both projects have improved community awareness and access to therapies for emerging cardiovascular and metabolic diseases like hypertension and diabetes, especially in grassroots low-income areas across the western regions of the country.
The two programs were implemented through local partners such as the AMPATH Consortium, Moi University, and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, and PharmAccess. The programs have been successful with over 100,000 patients being screened for diabetes and hypertension and an estimated 7,000 patients gaining routine access to vital diabetes and hypertension care as well hundreds of community healthcare workers being trained in the identification, prevention, and management of the two conditions
Following the success of these two programs, more initiatives were launched in Kenya including Making More Health (MMH), a global social change organization that leverages social innovation and entrepreneurship to catalyze change and promote well-being globally. The program is implemented in partnership with Positive Exposure (PE) Kenya, a non-governmental organization whose objective is to transform public perceptions on albinism and other rare diseases in the city.
In 2020, multilateral programs were also launched such as the Defeat-NCD Partnership, a global alliance launched to tackle the premature death, sickness, disability, and associated social and economic impacts of non-communicable diseases in least-developed countries.
Mohammed Al-Tawil, Country Managing Director and Head of Human Pharma at Boehringer Ingelheim Middle East, Turkey, and Africa stated, “We at Boehringer Ingelheim are very proud of our ranking in the 2021 Access-To-Medicine Index this year. Innovation and expertise are at the heart of our activities, and this achievement is a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment towards improving human health across our global communities.”
The Access-To-Medicine Index is a ranking system published biennially by the Access to Medicine Foundation in Amsterdam. It grades the world’s 20 largest pharmaceutical companies according to their ability to make their pharmaceutical products more available, affordable, accessible, and acceptable in 106 lower-to-middle income countries across the globe. The system is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Boehringer Ingelheim has been listed in the Access-To-Medicine Index since 2010, steadily advancing its efforts and commitment to improving human health across the globe.