Equitable Access to Medicine

How rising drug costs put our health care system and the greater economy at risk, and endanger the lives of millions. 

We are all painfully aware of escalating costs for prescription drugs and many of us have experienced this hardship personally. You may know someone who has skipped filling a prescription, or changed their spending habits in other areas due to drug costs.  What is especially frustrating to many, including those actively trying to rein in out-of-control drug costs, is a lack of transparency around pricing strategies from leading companies in the pharmaceutical industry.

One in four adults in the U.S. today will not fill a prescription, will cut pills in half, or skip doses because of cost.

The U.S. outpaces the world in the cost of branded medications in many cases by a factor of two, while a McKinsey report states prescription drugs in the U.S. cost 50% more than equivalent products in OECD countries. This presents a grave threat to public health and, in turn, to the economy.  

While several drug makers showed some restraint by postponing price increases in 2018, in early January 2019 they returned to business as usual and immediately set about raising prices on many branded medicines. 

ICCR's members are continuing their campaign to attempt to halt escalating drug costs.

Featured Initiative: Pharmaceutical Equity Expectations

ICCR has released a set of Pharmaceutical Equity Expectations which provide a roadmap for pharma companies committed to equity, justice, and safeguarding the human right to health. The eleven expectations call for equitable allocation of all health care products and services based on public health needs and call on pharma companies to develop and implement robust human rights policies. Learn more here.

The 2022 Campaign

ICCR's members filed a group of proposals for 2022 corporate proxies that collectively seek to highlight how the sector is failing to prioritize equitable access to its products, particularly COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. The proposals address:

1. Anti-Competitive Practices
2. Lobbying Alignment with Access Strategies
3. Public Investment/Access
4. Racial Equity Audit  
5. Transfer of Tech and I.P.


Examining Structural Racism in the Development of Medicine

Examining Structural Racism in the Development of Medicine