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At the end of 2018, 73 active Access Accelerated programs operating in 112 countries were registered in the Access Observatory. Programs were geographically clustered in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Most programs used a few common strategies: community activities that aimed to increase awareness of disease symptoms and treatment options; health service strengthening activities, most notably health provider training courses; and direct health service delivery. Forty-six programs (63%) addressed cancer, while diabetes (18%) and cardiovascular disease (18%) were also of focus. Across the 73 programs, there were 267 partnerships between companies and other organizations; more than half of programs had at least one public sector partner. With respect to measurement, one-third of programs submitted data for at least one program indicator in 2018, nearly all of which were for an input or output indicator. Very few programs submitted documentation of a needs assessment conducted prior to program implementation. More information is needed for local stakeholders to understand whether programs are appropriately designed for the context in which they are implemented.
The first two years of the Access Observatory have been characterized by development and learning, which has created a strong foundation for future success. Looking forward, there is a need for continued engagement on the part of the pharmaceutical industry as well as global health stakeholders. Companies should strive to design more effective programs and ensure accountability through transparent measurement and reporting. The Access Observatory is a first-of-its-kind global platform for measurement and reporting on access programs. Company CEOs and the Access Accelerated Secretariat have clearly communicated to the global health community that measurement and, most importantly, transparency in the measurement process are vital in order to ensure that companies receive credit for their efforts, that they are held accountable to their beneficiary populations and local stakeholders, and that program learnings can be shared.