As I stated earlier, science remains at the center of who we are at Pfizer. As we've been changing the company, we've also reflected the changing science of biopharmaceutical research, which is taking many promising directions. Historically, companies like ours have primarily focused on new medicines based on chemical compounds, and we will continue to build on our strengths in this critical area. But we are also increasing our investment in research that seeks new medicines and vaccines that are made of protein-based biological molecules.
In order to do so, we charted a unique course in 2009, by creating two distinct research organizations, PharmaTherapeutics R&D and BioTherapeutics R&D. Within these two groups, world-class Chief Scientific Officers—advised by specialized panels of independent experts—lead highly targeted scientific teams focused on particular therapeutic areas or technologies. These teams search for compounds that they believe have the probability of scientific, clinical, technical and regulatory success.
Conferring on these Chief Scientific Officers and their teams the authority and resources to pursue this kind of research matters today more than ever. Medical solutions are within reach for some of the most feared diseases of our time, especially those where the unmet medical need is greatest.
We are especially enthusiastic about our late-stage pipeline, which has 34 new molecular entities and new indications in Phase III. Among the most noteworthy of our ongoing late-stage clinical trials are studies of potential treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, for Alzheimer's disease, for the prevention of venous thromboembolism, for lung and breast cancer, for chronic pain indications, for renal cell carcinoma, for chronic myelogenous leukemia and for the use of the breakthrough Prevnar 13 vaccine for adults.
Not every trial will produce the exact results for which we all hope—that's the nature of drug discovery and development, which is inherently risky. But we are more enthusiastic about our late-stage pipeline than we have been in years.
Reforming Health Care
As I stated earlier, for drug discovery and development to continue, society must sustain and enhance the policy environment that provides incentives for investors like you to support the innovation that our scientists bring to the laboratory every day.
That presents, of course, an increasingly difficult challenge for policymakers as countries around the world struggle with the need to improve the ability of their citizens to obtain quality, affordable health care—while they deal with escalating deficits which, in turn, are often substantially affected by increasing health care costs. This challenge will grow even more acute in many parts of the world as fewer active workers generate the revenue to pay for health care and other social benefits that larger numbers of retired people will need and demand.
At Pfizer, we know we must participate constructively in addressing this critical societal challenge. In particular, we have a responsibility to be a leading voice in support of improving everyone's ability to have reliable and affordable health care while maintaining a policy structure in which the search for new cures and treatments can continue.
So, as we promote policies that advance innovation, we work actively in partnership with governments and nongovernmental organizations to expand access to quality care in every part of the world. And we've redoubled our efforts in the face of the weak global economy.
In the U.S., Pfizer has been a consistent advocate for the right kind of health care reform from the beginning of the current debate. We've been clear and consistent about our principles—improve access to quality, affordable care; preserve the doctor/patient relationship; invest in prevention and wellness; and promote medical innovation.
The debate in the U.S. over the last year was difficult for the country in many ways, and the outcome remains controversial.
But, from my point of view, two things were true when this debate started and they remain true now.
First, the U.S. health care system cannot continue on a course in which too many Americans lack access to quality health care at an affordable cost and in which our lack of investment in innovation, prevention and wellness will continue to burden our society with growing and unsustainable costs.
Second, as a major participant in the U.S. health care system, Pfizer has a responsibility to play a leading and constructive role in the ongoing reform of that system.
I can assure you that we will continue to do so.