What is Affordability at AstraZeneca?

The company’s position, policy and performance on the pricing of medicines, including core pricing principles, tiered pricing, and access and affordability programmes.

Our approach

We understand that a medicine’s value within a particular healthcare system is unique, with different healthcare costs, patient populations and societal priorities across each health system. Our approach is therefore driven by the belief that the price of a medicine should reflect its value, maximise patient access, and provide flexibility to accommodate variation in global health systems and economic realities for patients. 

We apply value-based agreements (VBA)1 to hold ourselves accountable and ensure patients are truly benefiting from our products. VBA is an agreement that reduces uncertainty of payers (economic or clinical) where access, reimbursement or price is linked to real world clinical benefit.

We work closely with healthcare systems, payers and policymakers, with the aim of improving health system resilience and to ensure access is widespread. We strive to support equitable access to healthcare globally by:

  • Coordinating programmes with country health systems to deliver medicines in a locally affordable context for patients
  • Supporting infrastructure, for example training healthcare professionals and facilitating clinics for screening and diagnosis
  • Delivering programmes which focus on making medicines available through donation to eligible patients (i.e. free of charge)
  • Tailoring payment models, including tiered pricing (based on gross national income) and value-based agreements


Our stories

Access and affordability programmes
Many people around the world face barriers to accessing medical treatment and healthcare. Some lack insurance or do not have the ability to pay for medicines. Some live in medically underserved communities. Some need to choose between paying for healthcare or paying for food. The issues are complex. We have offered access and affordability programmes to patients for more than 36 years in countries all over the world. These programmes are designed in partnership with local health systems to help patients gain access to the medicines and healthcare they need. Our access and affordability programmes are available to patients who meet the eligibility requirements. These programmes range from removing barriers to access, to reducing out-of-pocket costs through discounts or co-pays, to offering medicines for free to those who cannot afford to pay.


Patient Assistance Programmes
Reducing costs in emerging markets
Increasing access for breast cancer patients in rural Cambodia
Donating medicines

Other stories

Value-based agreements
Value-based agreements are designed to enable timely patient access while reducing uncertainty of payers (clinical or economic), ultimately to improve patient outcomes and health system effectiveness. In 2020, we worked closely with a European government to create an outcomes based agreement for a medicine that treats severe asthma. This agreement links reimbursement to real-world data, thereby ensuring that only patients who receive a benefit continue treatment and that the health system only reimburses AstraZeneca for these patients. We have entered into over 100 innovative value-based agreement partnerships, across our three main therapy areas. The number of contracts has more than doubled versus 2019. We anticipate value-based agreements will continue to increase to ensure timely access for patients. We will continue to invest in partnerships to support data collection system design and to demonstrate the real-world value of our medicines.

Learn more about Affordability in our Sustainability Report.


1. Since 2019, we have refined our approach from innovative value strategies (IVS) to value-based agreements (VBA).