The Global Health Impact Company Index evaluates how pharmaceutical companies’ drugs impact the health of populations devastated by disease. It is usually the case that those who are burdened most by these diseases live on less a dollar a day. Company scores are the combined total of the impact of their drugs on death and disability around the world. Three aspects are taken into consideration when determining country scores: The need for several important drugs in each country, the drugs’ effectiveness, and the number of people that can access them.
The rankings on this website are meant to provide a metric of the impacts of pharmaceutical companies’ drugs on a few important global diseases. This index is not meant to measure how “good” a pharmaceutical company is in relation to its peers, or how effective it has been at ensuring access to its drugs. The impacts of the ranked companies’ drugs is only one of many measures of a company’s overall fulfillment of its social responsibilities. For instance, companies with high scores on this index may have poor access policies and those with lower scores better access policies. For a more complete picture, these rankings are best read in combination with other academic and civil society analyses of drug companies’ global impact.
For a more comprehensive view that takes into account the vital role of generics companies in ensuring access to essential medicines, see the manufacturers’ tab.
Purpose and Value
While not intended to serve as a measure of good company behavior, we believe that the originator index can serve as a valuable tool. This ranking system serves as the first scientifically rigorous comparison of pharmaceutical companies by their drugs’ impacts on death and disability. A scientific model of this impact is a neglected, yet important, piece of the larger picture. While we endorse the vital importance of strong access policies, we believe this ranking can be an important piece in that puzzle. Companies’ scores will improve most if they: (1) develop drugs that will have the biggest impact on the global burden of disease and (2) change their access policies to ensure these drugs (along with their existing products) reach as many people as possible. We strongly believe that this is best achieved by working closely with civil society organizations. Of course, some companies may raise their scores by simply acquiring the most effective drugs for a particular disease (the first prong), and counting on governments and aid organizations to pay inflated prices for them (ignoring the second prong). Thus, for a complete picture, this ranking system must be read in conjunction with others (see Limitations, above).