Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation

2022 Year in Review: Highlights from the Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation

Farma ter Verantwoording (The Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation, PAF) had a busy 2022, with several important steps forward in its mission to further affordable access to medicines and medical technologies. 

Highlights include:

Our first case has ‘paid off’! 

The €19.6 million judgement in July 2021 against Leadiant Biosciences by the Dutch competition authority (ACM) in response to a request by PAF to investigate their anti-competitive practices has now inspired action in several other countries. Further fines have been imposed on the company for anti-competitive practices in Italy and Israel. Leadiant has also finally paid the Dutch fine. 


Excessive profits and displacement of care by AbbVie

On the 21st of December 2021, the Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation (PAF) sent a letter of liability to AbbVie. In accordance with the value that PAF attaches to fair pricing, the foundation called AbbVie to account for the excessive pricing it charged for Humira between 2004-2018 while the drug was still protected by patent. PAF has asked AbbVie to respond to the view that it acted unfairly by charging these excessive prices, and that this resulted in a displacement of care within the Dutch healthcare system, creating access barriers to healthcare products and services for Dutch citizens, and resulting in a severe loss of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs).

Webinars and Guidelines

PAF organised a follow-up webinar on the “Power of Law” on 27 January. This webinar was dedicated to our recently published Guidelines for Legal Procedures by NGOs.

The  ‘Guidelines for Responsible Pharmaceutical Behaviour during Covid-19‘ were published during a webinar on 3 March. All PAF webinars can be viewed on the PAF Youtube Channel.

Launch of the Fair Pharma Scorecard 

PAF was proud to launch the Fair Pharma Scorecard in June, a tool which evaluates 26 producers of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics on their compliance with internationally recognised human rights principles. Dutch journal Trouw picked up on the news, as well as international journal Stat News


Paper publication: Health and Human Rights journal

PAF’s academic viewpoint ‘Upholding Human Rights in the Wake of Covid-19: Time to Strengthen Pharmaceutical Accountability’ was published in the December issue of the Health and Human Rights journal. It presents the data from the Fair Pharma Scorecard, and suggests new ways of strengthening pharmaceutical accountability in the Netherlands. 

Heap of pharmaceutical drug and medicine pills scattered on dollar cash money, cost of medicinal product and treatment concept

PAF’s team is growing! 

This year, PAF has welcomed 5 new members to its advisory board: Anna Laskai, Edwin de Voogd, Mahboebeh Alipour, Andre den Exter, and Aart Hendriks. PAF also hosted an internship for Martina Liccardo, who wrote an excellent research paper on the role of the European Medicines Agency in Leadiant’s price misuse with CDCA.

PAF’s Committee of Recommendation has also grown, welcoming new members Chris Oomen, Godelieve van Heteren, Gilles de Wildt, Haaijer-Ruskamp, Pim van Gool, Gerrit van der Wal, Prisca Zwanikken, and André Knottnerus. 

Looking ahead: Plans for 2023

In the coming year we will continue to focus on finding innovative ways to stimulate pharmaceutical accountability. We will be investigating the possibilities of implementing a duty of care for pharma in the Netherlands, as well as continuing to monitor the knock-on effects of our CDCA-Leadiant case in other jurisdictions. We will also start a project on Duty of Care, funded by the People’s Vaccine Alliance and Frontline Aids. Stay tuned!