Generic firms told to improve access strategies in needy countries

Friday, September 29th, 2023 07:40 | By
Access to Medicine Foundation Chief executive Officer. PHOTO/ Print
Access to Medicine Foundation Chief executive Officer Jayasree K Iyer. PHOTO/ Print

A number of patients in low and middle-income countries including Kenya still lack access to generic and biosimilar drugs despite efforts to make them available, according to a report released by Access to Medicine Foundation’s Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Programme.

The report shows that despite their ability to serve as lifelines to millions of patients, generic and biosimilar products are still out of reach for many patients. The most affected are especially those living in low-income countries and those from vulnerable populations.

The report takes an in-depth look at what five major industry players are doing to expand access to their products in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The profiles of Cipla, Hikma, Sun Pharma, Teva, and Viatris were analysed in an effort to highlight opportunities to address gaps in affordable and reliable access to the quality-assured essential medicines produced by these companies.

Jayasree K Iyer (pictured), Access to Medicine Foundation Chief executive Officer said when it comes to expanding access to medicine, the power of the generics industry is often underestimated, adding it is more than the transactional relationship of selling drugs at volume and competing on price.

“Companies must engage with the unmet medical need globally – for example, by working with local manufacturers to improve supply, by taking steps to safeguard quality, by making their essential products available in more countries, and by addressing affordability for the poorest patients, she added.

Claudia Martínez, Research Programme Manager, Generic & Biosimilar Medicines Programme said clear opportunities exist for companies to ramp up their efforts.

More on Business