Index that tracks impact of pharmaceuticals worldwide to relaunch, focus on more diseases


BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Global Health Impact Index, developed by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York to rank pharmaceutical companies based on their drugs’ impact on global health, is launching a new, more-robust model that addresses even more diseases worldwide.

The Global Health Impact Index was first launched at the World Health Organization in Geneva in 2015 by Binghamton University Associate Professor of Philosophy Nicole Hassoun.

“Measuring the impact and effectiveness of essential treatments is crucial for a variety of stakeholders to determine where to allocate healthcare resources, and what medications initiatives meant to advance global health should prioritize,” said Hassoun. “We must ask ourselves, what medications offer the greatest relief for malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases, and what pharmaceutical companies’ drugs have done the most to alleviate the global burden of disease?”

“The new index confronts these uncertainties, and is a first step towards momentous change,” said Hassoun. The new index also considers drugs’ impacts over time, across countries and diseases, and assesses different parts of the pharmaceutical supply chain – showing how generics as well as originator companies contribute to getting drugs to the people who need them.

“A lot of attention has been paid in determining the need for different drugs, but the Global Health Impact Index actually addresses the impact that these drugs are having globally,” said Hassoun. “Having this information readily available could help improve the overall delivery of drugs and help save millions of lives.”

The index looks at three things: the need for several important drugs for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria and multiple neglected tropical diseases; the drugs’ effectiveness; and the number of people who can access these drugs. Each company’s score is the sum of its drugs’ impacts.

According to the index results for 2015:

The companies who came up with the drugs having the most impact on focus diseases are:

·    Sanofi

·    Novartis

·    Pfizer

The manufacturers and distributors who have the largest drug impact scores on the index are:

·      Ajanta Pharma Ltd.

·      Laboratorio Reig Jofre S.A.

·      Svizera Europe B.V.

The countries that had the most need alleviated by various drugs are:

·    India

·    Nigeria

·    Uganda

The diseases on which the drugs are having the largest impact are:

·    Tuberculosis

·    Malaria

·    HIV/AIDS

Previously, the Global Health Impact Index utilized a preliminary model to evaluate the impact of medications used to treat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis for one year. The Global Health Impact project has greatly expanded its scope to include a variety of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that primarily impact low-income communities around the world. The Global Health Impact Index is the first to measure the impact of drugs for malaria, TB, HIV, and NTDs in a simple, comparable, and consistent way over time and to look at different parts of the pharmaceutical supply chain.

“As the world moves forward in confronting detrimental diseases, and the social and economic ramifications that they bring,” added Hassoun, “it is essential that we continuously evaluate the impacts of various medications, to address the constantly changing scope of global health problems, and better evaluate the effects of treatment on devastating diseases around the world.”

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