As a route to that goal, we seek to improve access to medicines and health care in ways that improve Pfizer's standing among people and their governments, and open new opportunities for all of us. Pfizer has launched a global access strategy within our Emerging Markets Business Unit, dedicated to developing new business models that will improve access to quality medicines in a commercially viable, affordable and sustainable manner for patients facing barriers to basic health care.
Working with these valued customers offers us new opportunities and challenges. A key enabler will be partnerships with governments, nongovernmental institutions, private organizations, health care professionals and patients themselves. We are exploring a variety of frameworks, including new financial models for health care. In 2008 Pfizer announced a partnership with Grameen Bank, and we continue to work together to assess the needs of patients, community health care workers and others in Bangladesh.
Based on what we have learned from this assessment, Pfizer and Grameen have begun setting priorities on how best to meet the most urgent unmet needs of these customers. We are now developing a tailored pilot initiative.
In addition, we are working with global procurement agencies to provide more-affordable medicines, expand access to innovative products, and conduct research and development specifically for underserved people in the developing world.
In parallel, we continue responsible expansion of our philanthropic social health portfolio, including programs such as the International Trachoma Initiative. This initiative aims to eliminate the leading cause of preventable blindness in the developing world, through donations of Pfizer's antibiotic Zithromax and support for community-based training and education. These innovative approaches are among the many being conducted by teams across Pfizer that position us to do more to help meet the health needs of more people than ever before, around the world.
The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world's population is unable to get even the cheapest essential drugs for common diseases. Approximately 4 billion people, 72 percent of the world's population, live on less than $3 a day. The barriers to access are significant and entrenched throughout health care systems. In developing countries, health care infrastructures are often inadequate to provide care and distribute medicines, and in the developed world, these systems are often beyond the reach of the uninsured.
Through our philanthropic global health programs, we invest the full range of our resources—people, products and funding—to make a meaningful positive impact on the critical global health problems of our time among the world's most underserved people. These investments in health are implemented in partnership with national governments, international agencies, nongovernmental organizations, multilateral organizations, academic institutions, health care providers and patients. Our overriding goals are to improve patient access to medicines and health services, and to build the capacity and strengthen the knowledge of health care providers and the public health community so that they can expand and improve health delivery systems.
Our Established Products Business Unit extends our commitment to access by providing patients with medicines that have lost or are close to losing patent exclusivity while maintaining Pfizer's commitment to quality, safety and innovation. A key component of this work is the exploration of new partnerships, as evidenced by our collaborations with Aurobindo Pharma, Claris Lifesciences and Strides Arcolab over the past two years. Quality and supply reliability—both of which are too often lacking in the generics industry—are also important factors in patient access. Pfizer's broad and deep manufacturing capabilities, and proven track record of safety and efficacy, provide patients with consistent access to solid oral dose medications as well as distinct "niche" products such as sterile injectables, orphan therapeutics and biosimilars that they can trust.
Characteristic of our universal drive to innovate, Pfizer introduced an interactive tool that makes it easy for people to learn if they may be eligible for Pfizer MAINTAIN or other Pfizer patient assistance programs. These programs help uninsured and underinsured Americans get Pfizer medicines for free or at a savings.
Pfizer Helpful Answers is a family of assistance programs for uninsured and underinsured patients who need help getting their Pfizer medicines.Go to the Site
Our latest corporate responsibility report covers a wide range of issues, and includes a substantial section on access to medicines.Go to the Site
Our philanthropy is focused on investing the full range of the company's resources—people, skills, expertise and funding—to broaden access to medicines and strengthen health care delivery for underserved people around the world.Go to the Site