In July 2019, the Boston University Access Observatory, an independently developed measurement framework that is separate from Access Accelerated, published its second annual report, “Establishing the Foundation for Shared Learning.” As the title suggests, the report underscores the efforts our member companies are making to demonstrate three of our cross-cutting principles in action: continuous learning, rigorous measurement and transparency.
The CEOs from more than 20 biopharmaceutical companies created Access Accelerated to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by addressing systematic barriers to NCD prevention, treatment and care. A major component of our initiative is a firm commitment to better monitoring and evaluation of our company programs. That is why we work with independent public health experts at Boston University, and why we supported the creation of the Access Observatory.
We see value in working with the Access Observatory to evaluate our efforts so that we can share what works, address what does not and better understand our impact on addressing barriers to NCD care.
The Access Observatory’s second annual report reflects an increase in the number of company programs under review and is a clear demonstration of the efforts the industry is making to improve our output measures for our programs. As the report states, “The first two years of the Access Observatory have been characterized by development and learning, which has created a strong foundation for future success.”
Here are a few examples of how we are building on a strong foundation:
- We launched Access Accelerated in Action: Key Learnings in Program Design & Implementation, a resource that helps companies design and run even more effective NCD access programs. The report outlines principles for good program design and highlights practical case studies of how companies have incorporated these principles into their programmatic work.
It is already helping us enhance the impact of public-private partnerships in addressing the global NCD burden. One example is the benefit from more robust approaches to monitoring & evaluation to inform programmatic decisions, both within existing programs as well as in the development of new activities.
- We are working with PATH to address a specific need raised by country and local stakeholders: the lack of local data on NCD programming. Our solution, NCD Navigator, is a dynamic mapping of NCD programs that show, for the first time, the scale of NCD programming across a country with real-time data and accompanying visualizations.
The Kenyan Ministry of Health is in the process of adopting the tool, and it will be scaled to Ghana in 2019. This is just one example of how Access Accelerated is advancing a new collective model for private sector engagement on NCDs.
- We continue to commit to transparency and reporting with the publication of the Access Accelerated Year 2 Report, where we outline the progress we have made in driving collective industry action in our focus countries – Kenya, Ghana and Vietnam – and beyond. In partnership with the World Bank Group and City Cancer Challenge, we are supporting pilot programs to scale access to NCD and cancer prevention, treatment and care across Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Through partnerships with PATH, World Heart Federation and NCD Alliance, we are building critical tools and resources (such as NCD Navigator mentioned above) and engaging people living with NCDs in our focus countries.
- We are also addressing a specific concern raised in the Access Observatory report – addressing challenges to the supply chain – with initial work in Kenya and Ghana already underway.
We know we can always do more. And, we believe the challenge of addressing the multiple barriers to NCD care requires the active participation of the private sector to create long-term, sustainable solutions.
Access Accelerated provides a coordination platform to guide our member companies’ programming. This improves our ability to be meaningful and effective partners to local governments in low- and middle-income countries as they work to address the systemic barriers to NCD care.
We look forward to working together – across the biopharmaceutical sector, with our partners and with other global health stakeholders – to continue designing and implementing effective programs that demonstrate accountability and transparency so that we can better meet the needs of people living with NCDs.