In addition, we continued to pursue business development opportunities and form external collaborations to leverage our core capabilities, build on our portfolio and strengthen our geographic presence. For example, we signed a framework agreement with Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceuticals in China to establish a joint venture in the branded generics area and a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Pharma to explore potential business opportunities in China. We completed the acquisition of King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which strengthened our pain portfolio, and acquired Icagen, Inc., a biotech firm specializing in new pathways for the treatment of pain. With the acquisitions of Alacer Corp. and the Ferrosan Holding A/S consumer healthcare business, we expanded the portfolio of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare's brands and entered new markets.
Earning Respect From Society
Pfizer operates in a global society that gives us a license to operate. That license is rooted in the respect and trust we earn.
We strive for society's respect and trust in a number of ways. The effort begins with listening to and learning from our customers and other stakeholders. Through what we hear and what we learn in quantitative and qualitative research, we know that customers want access to information from us that will help them live longer, healthier and happier lives.
In 2011, we took new approaches to connect us with customers. For example, our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, shared health and medical information in ways that encourage people to take charge of their health care, especially in areas such as stroke prevention, smoking cessation and the early diagnosis of cancer.
Pfizer operates in a global society that gives us a license to operate. That license is rooted in the respect and trust we earn."
We continue to support patient-access programs such as Pfizer Helpful Answers—a U.S. initiative that provides our medicines for free or at a savings to uninsured and underinsured patients who qualify. In the last five years alone, Pfizer has helped 3.8 million patients receive more than 40 million Pfizer prescriptions through the program.
Globally, we have extended our long-term commitments to help nations achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals, particularly in health care. Specifically, we continue to work to support the global elimination of blinding trachoma by donating our oral antibiotic, Zithromax, and recently we joined an innovative partnership of public and private organizations led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that includes a consortium of global pharmaceutical companies in a new, coordinated effort to accelerate progress toward eliminating or controlling 10 neglected tropical diseases by the end of the decade. In addition, we launched the Re:Search partnership, through the World Intellectual Property Organization, to speed up progress in finding treatments and cures for neglected tropical diseases that now affect more than 1 billion people.
During 2011, we maintained leadership in disclosing our interactions with health care providers in the U.S. and further improved our speed in posting clinical trial results online.