A team of Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers has published the inaugural report of Access Observatory, a first-of-its-kind global reporting platform for tracking pharmaceutical companies’ contributions to disease prevention and treatment. The report was published on June 25.
Dr. Richard Laing, professor of global health at BUSPH, and Dr. Peter Rockers, assistant professor of global health at BUSPH, are the co-principal investigators, and Dr. Veronika Wirtz, associate professor of global health at BUSPH, is a co-investigator. BUSPH Dean Sandro Galea wrote the report’s foreword.
“There is widespread skepticism about whether the programs of the pharma companies really make a difference,” Dr. Laing says. “Some people believe that good intention must lead to good outcomes, while others argue that these programs do not respond to local need and may actually cause harm.”
Dr. Laing says transparent reporting is vital, but existing industry reporting is based largely on confidential data. “With the Access Observatory we are breaking new ground,” he says. “All data is freely available to the public.”
Access Observatory reports on Access Accelerated, a new collaboration between several leading biopharmaceutical companies, the World Bank, and the International Union for Cancer Control. The collaboration aims to improve access for prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries.