A handful of pills  Yvan Cohen/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tracking Big Pharma’s Progress on AMR

With the launch of a new index to track major drug makers, generic producers, and biotech firms in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, we now have the data we need to make progress on this crucial public-health issue. The hope is that the many companies that have not been carrying their weight will finally feel compelled to act.

LONDON – This week, at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, the Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF) is launching an antimicrobial resistance (AMR) benchmark to “track how pharmaceutical companies are responding to the increase in drug-resistance.” The benchmark builds on recommendations made in the May 2016 final report of the British government’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, which I chaired, and on the important work being done by Chatham House, Drive-AB, the Global Union for Antibiotic Research and Development, the Pew Trusts, and the World Health Organization.

For the past ten years, the AMF, which is independent of the pharmaceutical industry, has published a highly regarded Access to Medicine Index, making it uniquely suited to quantify how various companies measure up in the fight against AMR.

In my view, the new benchmark will have many benefits, not least for equity analysts who might consider adjusting their stock recommendations on the basis of the AMF’s findings. During our Review, I learned that many in the investment community were not interested in pharmaceutical companies’ behavior on this issue, because there were no readily available data by which to make comparisons. Well, now there are.