"Health for All” is at the core of our company’s purpose. We advance breakthroughs that change patients’ lives by ensuring they have access to quality healthcare services and Pfizer’s medicines and vaccines.
As we work to advance progress against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) — which aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” — we know that we must work differently to do more in the face of today’s unprecedented challenges to ensure all people have access to the quality health services they need.
“To make the shared vision of SDG3 a reality will require innovative partnerships, bold investments, and the capability to scale successes,” said Caroline Roan, Vice President, Global Health & Patient Access.
Nearly five years into the SDGs, great strides have been taken to improve the health of people around the world. As a core tenet of SDG3, universal health coverage (UHC) has become a global priority – it is a central component of the World Health Organization’s General Programme of Work 2019-2023, and has sparked the development of the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All to accelerate the necessary shift from siloed, disease-specific programs and investments to stronger health systems to improve health outcomes more generally. And this fall, it was center stage at the UN General Assembly as the first high-level meeting on UHC to help bolster global commitment took place.
Pfizer believes in the promise of UHC. We recognize that access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines is a critical component of UHC and that, as an innovative pharmaceutical company, we have an important role to play in helping to deliver on this target.
For more than 160 years, Pfizer has made significant, far-reaching contributions to improving health around the world, helping to increase access to life-saving products and strengthen health systems to deliver for the most vulnerable people. But given the complexity of the global health landscape, there is no such thing as status quo. We must continually evolve our approach, finding new solutions that are not only transformative but also sustainable.
In order to promote health and well-being for all, we leverage the full extent of our resources – from our medicines and vaccines to our financial investments and our colleagues’ expertise – in areas and communities where we can have the greatest impact. Through innovative partnerships and programs,Pfizer and its partners are helping to drive progress in bold ways that support local communities by strengthening systems and increasing access to care:
- The Global Health Innovation Grants program, which is managed by the Pfizer Foundation* in partnership with Innovations in Healthcare, has helped provide 370,000 new patients with care, 160,000 new patients with screening and education and 2,000 health workers with training. This year’s cohort includes 20 grantees focused on tackling critical health challenges related to infectious diseases, with each receiving $100,000 to support their work in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
- Through the Pfizer Foundation* Healthy Families, Healthy Futures program, we have supported more than 121,000 women in five African countries through programs that integrate the delivery of childhood immunizations and family planning services, breaking down barriers to access and increasing efficiencies to maximize impact.
- In partnership with the International Trachoma Initiative, we’ve donated more than 875 million doses of antibiotics to 40 countries to fight trachoma, a debilitating disease that is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide and results in up to $8 billion in lost productivity each year.
- As a partner of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, we’ve helped to make pneumococcal conjugate vaccines available in some of the world’s poorest countries, which protects more than 29 million babies from pneumonia in Gavi-supported countries each year.
- Through Pfizer RxPathways®, we have helped more than 679,000 patients receive over 9 million Pfizer prescriptions for free or at a savings in the last five years.
- Through Accelerate2030, a nine-month capacity-building program with a mission to support and scale social ventures that contribute to the SDGs, we’ve helped to reach 2 million people with 80+ impact-driven ventures.
- Since 2003, roughly 500 Pfizer colleagues have contributed their expertise to build capacity and strengthen healthcare delivery in low- and middle-income countries, working with 81 partner organizations in 50 nations through our Global Health Fellows and Global Health Teams.
There is no one path to universal health coverage – each country’s journey to achieving UHC will be driven by its unique historical, economic, political and social contexts. While UHC does not mean free coverage for all health interventions or a single-payer system, what it does mean is equitable access to a range of health services, from health promotion and prevention to treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, without suffering financial hardship. It will require a multifaceted approach that addresses the interrelated components of service provision, health infrastructure and quality assurance in addition to sustainable financing. We’re proud of the efforts of our colleagues, partners, and peers to improve global health and ensure health for all, and we are committed to doing our part to continue to accelerate equitable and sustainable progress toward UHC.
Watch the video below to learn more about how we’re committed to creating a healthier world.
*The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions.
iUnited Nations (nd) Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. Available at: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/health/ (Accessed: 23 April 2109).
iiWHO (2019) Universal Health Coverage. Available at: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/universal-health-coverage-(uhc) (Accessed: 23 April 2109).