Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) is the world leader in efforts to making medicines available in developing countries, according to the second Access to Medicine Index.

GSK (NYSE: GSK), which maintains its U.S. headquarters in the Triangle, is focusing numerous efforts on the developing world under Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty.

The Access to Medicine Index, which was launched in 2008 by the Accecss to Medicine Foundation in the Netherlands, ranks companies on efforts to ensure medicines are made for and reach people in developing countries..

"The 2010 ranking reveals important progress, if only because companies have shown far greater willingness to open up,” said Wim Leereveld, founder of the Index.

“The Index unveils great improvements, especially in the areas of research and development, and equitable pricing,” he added. “At the same time, it shows that the industry as a whole still has a long way to go.”

Researchers compiling the index say pharmaceutical firms are launching more developing world initiatives.

RiskMetrics ESG Analytics researched data for the index.

"The Access to Medicine Index independently assesses how individual pharmaceutical companies perform in promoting universal access to essential medicines, and is thus an important tool in improving performance," said Carissa Etienne, Assistant Director-General at the World Health Organization, in a statement provided by the foundation.

The ranking:

1. GSK
2. Merck
3. Novartis
4. Gilead Sciences
5. Sanofi-Aventis
6. Roche
7. AstraZeneca
8. Novo Nordisk
9. Johnson & Johnson
10. Abbot Laboratories
11. Pfizer
12. Boehringer-Ingelheim
13. Eli Lilly
14. Bayer
15. Bristol-Myers Squibb
16. Eisai
17. Merck KG
18. Takeda Pharmaceutical
19. Astellas Pharma
20. Daiichi Sankyo

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