In HAI’s Annual Report 2020, we reflect on access to medicines in a year like no other. For us, just like the whole world, 2020 was a year of immense challenge. It was also the year in which the entire access to medicines and vaccines movement took on a new resonance in the face of a pandemic, the likes of which has not been seen in a century.

It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic framed the work of HAI throughout the last year. Indeed, you would be hard-pressed to find a group or individual anywhere for whom that was not the case. But HAI, its network and its members were uniquely placed to provide civil society leadership that shaped the policy and moral debate that inevitably took place around access to treatments and vaccines in the fight against COVID-19.

But the pandemic has not meant HAI’s other work could suddenly stop, in fact it gave a new sense of urgency to many of the priority issues on which the team works. Throughout this report, you will read of the progress made in the ongoing drive for transparency of clinical trial data, an ever-expanding toolkit to tackle the negative influence of pharma promotion, the celebration of Women Champions of Snakebite, the sustainability of HAI’s work on sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa and the impact of the work being done on access to insulin. All against a backdrop of corona virus and what that meant for these priorities and the challenges of working remotely from many parts of the world. This was alongside the huge effort, and visible impact of HAI’s work on access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, at both European and global levels.

Thankfully, HAI was able to adapt quickly to the new reality thrust upon us, moving smoothly to working remotely in a virtual environment, day-to-day as well as for events, research and advocacy that have been the bedrock of HAI’s work since its birth 40 years ago this year.

With the 40th Anniversary in mind, it is also important to recognise that, for four decades, HAI has continued to adapt to an everchanging political and donor environment. For example, the Partners for Change programme, showcases the breadth of HAI’s experience and offers unrivaled expertise and insight across the whole range of HAI’s core skills. This work must continue in order to ensure HAI has a future in a world in which socio-political and economic pressures more than ever seek to marginalise civil society and silence their voice.

Find out more in the HAI Annual Report 2020