The Extending Access Index: Promoting Global Health

The Extending Access Index: Promoting Global Health



Many people around the world cannot access essential medicines for diseases like malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS. One way of addressing this problem is a Global Health Impact certification system where pharmaceutical companies are rated on the basis of their drugs’ impact on global health. The best companies, in a given year, will then be allowed to use a Global Health Impact label on all of their products – everything from lip balm to food supplements. Highly rated companies will have an incentive to use the label to garner a larger share of the market. If even a small percentage of consumers promote global health by purchasing Global Health Impact products, the incentive to use this label will be substantial. An associated Global Health Impact licensing campaign will also have a big impact. Pharmaceutical companies rely, to a large extent, on university research and development. So, if universities only allow companies that agree to use Global Health Impact practices to benefit from their technology, companies will have an incentive to abide by Global Health Impact standards. The Global Health Impact certification system gives companies a reason to produce medicines that will save millions of lives (like a new malaria or HIV vaccine). This paper presents a model rating system that can provide the basis for Global Health Impact certification. It explores some of the methodological choices underlying the construction of this index and explains how the model can be improved with further research.

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Nicole Hassoun

Nicole Hassoun is an associate professor in philosophy at SUNY Binghamton. From 2006-2012 she was an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University affiliated with Carnegie Mellon’s Program on International Relations and the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Bioethics and Health Law. In 2009-2010 she held a postdoctoral position at Stanford University and visited at the United Nation’s World Institute for Development Economics Research. She has also been a visiting scholar at the Center for Poverty Research in Austria and the Center for Advanced Studies in Frankfurt. Her book Globalization and Global Justice: Shrinking Distance, Expanding Obligations has just appeared with Cambridge University Press. She has published in journals like the American Philosophical Quarterly, Journal of Development Economics, The Journal of Applied Ethics, The American Journal of Bioethics, Public Affairs Quarterly, The European Journal of Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, and Utilitas.