Access to health care, including access to innovative medicines, vaccines and other technologies, is a critically important focus for the global health community. We recognize that economic and health care circumstances differ from country to country and person to person, and we know that cost can be a barrier to access.
As one of the world’s foremost global health care companies, Johnson & Johnson has an important responsibility to do all it can to address unmet medical needs. This responsibility includes making our medicines, vaccines and diagnostics accessible to people living in resource-limited settings.
We share the goals of the Access to Medicine Foundation to enhance access to medicines and spur innovative and effective approaches to confronting today’s global health challenges. At Johnson & Johnson we achieve these goals through innovative and effective R&D and philanthropic initiatives.
To meet this responsibility on a global scale we use a wide variety of approaches, appropriate to the specific reimbursement systems and legal guidelines of different countries, that ensure and sustain broader access to our products. We also look for ways to shape the future of clinical trial development to better serve patient populations, especially children.
Our global approach requires local customization of patient access strategies in three categories:
Responsibility for global market access, commercial strategy operations and global public health access initiatives is managed throughout our Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and is primarily shared among our Janssen Global Commercial Strategy Organization and Market Access Organization, and our dedicated enterprise Global Public Health (GPH) organization. GPH is focused on resource-poor settings, forming unconventional partnerships and accelerating the pace of innovation to broaden our reach and deepen our impact. Our access initiatives focus on affordability, availability, appropriate use and adoption. These organizations are directed by members of our Johnson & Johnson Executive Committee.
In certain cases, we also provide access to medicines not yet approved by government health authorities for patients with serious diseases. These investigational medicines are still being studied, and are also referred to as experimental medicines. Where it is not possible to enroll in a clinical trial, a request for an investigational medicine for an individual patient may be met through compassionate use.
In partnership with the New York University School of Medicine’s Division of Medical Ethics, we have completed a first-of-its-kind pilot program, the Compassionate Use Advisory Committee, an independent external group of physicians, ethicists and patient representatives, to review compassionate use requests and to provide an objective, fair and ethical approach to those requests.
Johnson & Johnson was ranked #2 on the Access to Medicines Index (ATMI), up from #3 in 2014. ATMI is an independent evaluation that ranks the top 20 research-based pharmaceutical companies on providing access to medicines in developing countries. This achievement is a testament to our long-standing commitment to improving access to medicines in the developing countries.
In the United States, we helped approximately one million patients through the Janssen CarePath program, and contributed over $47 million in donations to independent charitable foundations, enabling them to provide assistance with medication-related co-pays.
In China, the launch of ZYTIGA® (abiraterone acetate), a treatment for men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), has made the medicine available in more than 100 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. We also support the China Primary Health Care Foundation’s Patient Access Program, which provides ZYTIGA® (abiraterone acetate) to low-income mCRPC patients.
We continued to roll out of a broad access strategy for SIRTURO® (bedaquiline), the development of which continues to be recognized as a major achievement in the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). This access strategy includes working with various organizations and partners, such as the USAID Bedaquiline Donation Program, an important platform for providing access for MDR-TB patients in greatest need living in resource-limited communities. For more information see our Health for Humanity 2020 Goals Progress Scorecard.
We expanded our agreement between Janssen and the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University School of Medicine for the Compassionate Use Advisory Committee (CompAC) from a single medicine under development to additional investigational medicines in development. We believe that working with the external CompAC provides a fair, objective and ethical model to evaluate each request for access to our investigational medicines and has the potential for wider application across the health care industry.