MedAccess is a program and platform that connects social entrepreneurs with pharmaceutical companies in order to identify and jointly implement sustainable business models that increase access to basic health care in developing countries.
Currently 2.5 billion live on 2 USD or less a day. These people are struggling to meet their basic needs and thus lack regular access to healthcare services. According to the MDG Gap Task Force Report 2012 only around 51% of the public health care facilities in developing countries are able to provide patients with essential medicines. Moreover, prices for essential medicine tend to be the multiple of the international reference price, which especially makes treatments of chronic disease impossible.
The Center for Health Market Innovations provides details about more than 1200 health care projects that focus on the above named problem. However, research showed that the majority of these projects depend on philanthropists, grants, donations and CSR activities. We believe that only sustainable social business models in the form of social venture solutions, which fulfill both an economic and social profit equation, ensure the long-term existence of these projects.
In order to achieve global access to healthcare, our group is convinced that especially pharmaceutical companies have to change their mind-set. Although, the trend towards social venture solutions carried out directly by pharmaceutical companies has increased over the last years, concrete implementations still occur in a very slow pace. Reasons for this have been found in corporate orientation but above all in the lack of relevant human resources with specific local expertise. On the other hand, countless social entrepreneurs worldwide that have the required ideas to solve local problems often lack concrete and dedicated support mechanisms in order to realize their projects.
After intensive research and various conversations with different stakeholder groups, MedAccess will now start to build a program and platform that connects social entrepreneurs having game-changing ideas and pharmaceutical companies willing to support these ideas on a long-term basis. The goal of MedAccess is thus to ensure that these two parties collaboratively build tailored social venture solutions for countries and regions in the world, where the population cannot afford and does not have access to basic health care. These solutions may range from educational services and the creation of awareness for a need in basic health care, innovations in delivery and distribution of medicine until new pricing concepts and the enhancement of health care related processes in affected countries and regions.
MedAccess shall connect and enable two parties that share a common vision, namely social entrepreneurs and pharmaceutical companies. These will be encouraged to jointly build country specific social venture solutions for a global advancement in health care. Therefore, MedAccess contributes to the long-term social impact of increasing access to basic health care in the world.
Bettina Hirzinger (WU)
Andreas Schumacher (TU)