Access to healthcare interventions
Everyone should have access to the life-changing benefits of medicines and other healthcare interventions, like vaccines, diagnostics and therapies.
However, despite medical advances, some people can’t get the healthcare interventions they need, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
On this page
Increasing access to healthcare interventions doesn’t need to come at the expense of innovation, or vice-versa. The public and private sectors must work together to increase the range of interventions available and the number of people who can access them.
Intellectual property rights and commercial reward have a role to play in developing and delivering interventions – but health benefit should be the priority.
We’re committed to making sure that the healthcare interventions we support are affordable, appropriate, adapted and available, particularly in low-and middle-income countries.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Research funders and pharmaceutical companies should use practices like voluntary licensing, patent pooling, and equitable pricing to make sure healthcare interventions are accessible to the people who need them most.
Why access to healthcare interventions matters
- 30% of the world’s population, and over 50% of the population in parts of Africa and Asia, do not have regular access to essential medicines
- Around two billion people worldwide lack access to life-changing medicines and other healthcare interventions.
What we’re doing
Embedding access in our funding
We want the people we fund to maximise access to the healthcare interventions they’re researching and developing.
To support our grantholders we:
- set out what good practice around access looks like in our policies on intellectual property, consent and revenue and equity sharing, and open access.
- may negotiate access conditions on a case-by-case basis – usually for our Innovator Awards.
We’re planning to publish an annual report on the impact our funding policies and award conditions have had on improving access. The report will respect grantholder and commercial confidentiality.
Working with funding partners
We expect all our funding partnerships to apply the principles outlined in our approach to equitable access to healthcare interventions.
Working with others
We’re working with public, private and civil society organisations to better understand and overcome the challenges around access to healthcare interventions, particularly those that can be addressed during the research and development phase.
To begin with, we will:
- develop initiatives and resources to help other research funders increase access to healthcare interventions they support
- explore how to monitor and evaluate the impact of initiatives to improve access.
If you have any questions, contact Rachael Crockett
Sign up to our newsletter
Get the latest news about Wellcome and the work we fund in a monthly email.
Thank you. If this is the first time you have subscribed to a newsletter from Wellcome, you will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription.