The complexity of global health challenges requires collaboration among private companies, governments, non-governmental organizations, donors, academia and providers. That’s why we, along with 12 other major healthcare companies, signed on to the Guiding Principles on Access to Healthcare during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013. These industry-led principles provide a common framework to help shape the cross-sector partnerships that will expand access to quality healthcare.
We strive to engage with governments around the world to offer our products at sustainable prices that are affordable for local populations. Yet as overall healthcare costs continue to rise globally, we recognize that the cost of treatment and medications may be an obstacle for patients trying to receive the treatment they need, especially for the under- or uninsured. Pricing based on ability to pay is one way pharmaceutical companies can enhance access to medicines for people everywhere. We advocate for policies that support differential pricing, or the charging of different prices based on a purchaser’s ability to pay. We believe such policies can help balance the desire to offer affordable prices for low-income populations while still rewarding innovation. We also support efforts to decrease the final price of medicines to patients, such as minimizing taxes of all types and limiting markups applied in the supply chain.
We also offer a number of patient programs that help people access our medicines, including our U.S. patient assistance program, insulin donations through the Life for a Child program and our disaster relief efforts.
For more on our efforts to expand access to medicines, see our latest corporate responsibility reports.