Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death and disease globally. To tackle these global killers, we must go beyond treatment to drive better prevention and more efficient detection.

Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the burden of NCDs in many underdeveloped countries. As quality of life has improved in these areas, the prevalence of infectious diseases has declined; however, there has been a rapid increase in the level of NCDs.

The four most common NCDs, which include cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes, now result in more than 30 million deaths annually. To reduce the burden of these difficult-to-treat conditions and accelerate patient outcomes, we must take a holistic approach that addresses prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This integrated approach includes multi-stakeholder partnerships, which are particularly important since many NCDs – including cancer – are caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Establishing partnerships with organizations aligned around a common goal of diminishing the impact of NCDs allows us to leverage resources and expertise in creative ways that speed progress to impact patients.

In 2016, Pfizer had more than 30 programs in development to address NCDs – some that focus on specific diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease, and others that address gaps in health care systems that affect populations heavily impacted by NCDs.

In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) announced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as targets for positive and essential change around the world, including a target to reduce by one-third premature mortality due to NCDs by 2030. Learn more about how Pfizer is driving progress against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

HelpAge International and Pfizer have worked together since 2012 to prevent and reduce the impact of NCDs among older people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Learn more about Pfizer’s work in Healthy Aging.

Older people have unique health needs that are often overlooked by health systems across the globe. Without data, their needs are neither addressed nor prioritized. Pfizer and HelpAge are directly addressing the health issues faced by older people and systematically building a body of critical evidence to support healthy aging.

Kate Bunting
CEO HelpAge USA – the U.S. affiliate of HelpAge International

Pfizer and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world's largest humanitarian network, are working together in three areas: to further disseminate the IFRC's 4HealthyHabits tools for NCD prevention; to develop and test evidence-based tools to support healthy aging at the community level; and to advocate jointly for NCD prevention and control.

NCDs like cancer and heart disease kill 38 million people every year – three quarters of whom are in low- and middle-income countries. Long committed to turning this around, Pfizer is now boosting our efforts by joining 21 of our industry peers and advocacy partners to create a coalition called Access Accelerated.

Learn more about Access Accelerated.

Joining Forces for Tobacco Control and Smoking Cessation in Asia

With approximately 300 million smokers, and 1 million smoking related deaths each year, China is at the epicenter of the global tobacco health crisis

To aim to prevent the spread of the smoking epidemic in China, Pfizer supports the Georgia State University Research Foundation’s efforts to advance the implementation of tobacco control policies in five cities (Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an, Xiamen and Wuhan) in China. The Tobacco Free Cities program works to develop public policy that will aim to prevent the initiation of smoking, promote quitting and eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke. The initiative also seeks to change social norms around tobacco use and to reduce its burden in these five large and influential cities, which have a combined population of almost 70 million.

Tobacco Free Cities

Between April 2015 and November 2016, Tobacco Free Cities resulted in:

64.6mpeople protected from secondhand smoke exposure where Smoke-Free Public Places policies were adopted

2.12mpeople educated via 622 health education events

214smoke-free policies adopted in businesses

View more information on Tobacco Free Cities and and our support of Georgia State University's efforts in China.

Arming Providers with the Tools to Prevent and Treat Heart Disease

Health care providers are on the front lines of the fight against NCDs

Although the end user of many of Pfizer's products is often a patient, it is critical to address the needs of physicians, especially when tackling NCDs. The health care provider is on the front lines of patient care and can play a critical role in diagnosing and treating NCDs, as well as educating patients to prevent their onset.

To respond to the needs of physicians in the area of heart disease, Pfizer is collaborating with the American College of Cardiology (ACC) on its largest ever global cardiovascular education program. Announced on World Heart Day and building on the success of the ACC’s cardiovascular disease prevention program pilot in China, Pfizer and the ACC will expand the program to reach doctors in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia, and support additional programming in China.

Participants will have access to a three-part webinar series on cardiovascular disease prevention, including primary prevention, secondary prevention for patients who have experienced an acute event and prevention for patients with multiple risk factors. A series of post-webinar follow ups will be conducted with the same group of physicians to assess behavioral changes.

The pilot program in China was launched in January 2016, and featured cardiovascular disease educational webinars that reached more than 350 hospitals and delivered a public awareness campaign, including social media engagement and educational messages via the WeChat social media platform (reaching more than 1.8 million people). With the expansion of the program to additional countries, Pfizer and the ACC are expected to reach thousands of people, with the hope of accelerating the success of the pilot to improve cardiovascular patient outcomes and reduce the impact of heart disease globally.

In 2016 and looking to 2017, Pfizer is exploring areas where Pfizer Essential Health (PEH) medicines can tackle NCDs. In partnership with Pfizer Corporate Responsibility and working with an international, non-government organization (NGO), we are initiating cardiovascular capacity development programs in Vietnam and Myanmar to improve access to care in under-served communities.

Addressing the Growing Global Burden of Cancer

Breast and cervical cancers are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality for women living in less developed regions

As with many other diseases, cancer imposes a particularly heavy burden on poor, marginalized and rural communities due to the additional barriers they face in accessing education, screening and treatment. In the coming decade, the impact of cancer is expected to be disproportionately felt by those living in underdeveloped countries – both in terms of new cancer cases and in overall mortality.

Women in underdeveloped countries often face significant barriers to quality care, including long travel distances to receive oncology care services, a shortage of trained professionals, poor equipment and lack of information around screening and diagnosis.

While many governments, NGOs and entrepreneurs have taken measures aimed at addressing barriers to quality health care, we believe that Pfizer and the private sector as a whole can also play an important role in helping to accelerate progress through innovative partnerships and collaborations that catalyze innovation, advance policy and strengthen health infrastructure.

A Story Half Told: A Call-to-Action to Expand the Conversation to Include Metastatic Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told is an initiative by Pfizer in partnership with advocates and health care professionals that aims to elevate public understanding of metastatic breast cancer, dispel misperceptions, combat stigma and expand the breast cancer conversation to be more inclusive of metastatic breast cancer. In 2015 and 2016, we rolled out a series of photo essays of women living with metastatic breast cancer, chronicled by well-known photographers.

Esther Garza

Esther Garza: Read her story

Beth Fairchild

Beth Fairchild: Read her story

Carol Miele

Carol Miele: Read her story

Accelerating the Fight against Breast Cancer through Community Empowerment

Pfizer and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) joined forces to create the Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community (SPARC) Grants, an initiative aimed at empowering advocacy groups, hospital networks, support groups and other organizations worldwide as they initiate projects to close the gap in information, support, awareness and policy between metastatic breast cancer and early-stage breast cancer, as well as help reduce the number of women diagnosed at the metastatic stage of breast cancer.

In 2016, 20 competitively-selected organizations were granted funding to implement novel and sustainable projects across 18 countries. Each organization is tailoring its activities to the needs of patients in specific countries or regions, creating diverse programming that takes a much-needed hyper-local and grassroots approach to driving impact for breast cancer patients.

SPARC MBC Challenge

In 2016:

3,000patients reached

217events held


Find out more about some of the 20 organizations that recieved a grant in 2016:

Learn more about the SPARC winners.

Scaling Up Breast Cancer Care Capabilities around the Globe

Pfizer, through the Pfizer Foundation,* addresses health care gaps to improve health systems for individuals in need in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Within its NCD care pillar, the Pfizer Foundation has launched a program portfolio aimed specifically at improving equitable access to oncology care and services globally, with a particular focus on addressing women’s cancers. Strategies to improve oncology care for women include strengthening health care infrastructure through health care worker training and technical assistance, and improving access to information, diagnostics and care through community outreach and mobilization.

Strategies for Improving Access to Breast Cancer Care in LMICs

In 2016, the Pfizer Foundation supported projects to improve breast cancer care in four emerging markets: Peru, Brazil, Rwanda and Kenya. Together, these programs explore opportunities to integrate breast cancer outreach, early screening and diagnosis into existing primary care systems with a link to oncology treatment facilities, thereby expanding access to quality oncology care services to thousands of individuals who need them.

Peru (PATH)

Since 2011, the international nonprofit PATH has collaborated with Peruvian partners to implement a community-based breast cancer program in the northern region of La Libertad. The program has established a feasible, evidence-based approach to early detection at the community level, and linked it to triage and diagnostic services at the network level.

With the Pfizer Foundation’s support, PATH is scaling up this program to reach 115,000 additional women and demonstrate that the model is replicable and sustainable. Specifically, the Foundation’s grant will help support building health care worker capacity, training doctors and midwives in quality clinical breast exams including ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration biopsy and training volunteers as patient navigators.

Women at a gathering

Brazil (Susan G. Komen)

Breast cancer is the highest cause of cancer mortality and morbidity among women in Brazil. With the Pfizer Foundation’s support, Susan G. Komen is implementing a program to improve breast cancer care in Brazil by integrating patient support, early detection and timely diagnosis into existing primary care services. More specifically, the program aims to reduce time between screening, diagnosis and start of treatment by implementing the One-Day Clinic approach that has been proven effective in other Brazilian states; improving the quality of screening exams with specialized training for radiologists, physicists and medical technologists on quality of mammography; and providing patient support in navigating the system and understanding patient rights, including the access to a help line. The Pfizer Foundation’s grant will also help support a multi-phase program that seeks to align Brazil’s national cancer control policies at the city and state levels and help facilitate a more-efficient path for women as they seek and receive care.

Women at a presentation

Rwanda (Partners In Health)

Despite rising rates of breast cancer diagnosis in Rwanda, women in the country face significant barriers to care. Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence (BCCOE) is one of the few facilities in the country where women with breast cancer can be diagnosed and treated. With this in mind, Partners in Health is working with the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MoH) toward the goal of improving accessibility of treatment for breast cancer patients, while also documenting and disseminating lessons learned to inform future efforts to decentralize breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, accelerating the number of women who receive proper cancer care.

The Pfizer Foundation’s grant will help allow Partners In Health to implement new, national clinical protocols for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, including a comprehensive social support package. It will also help Partners In Health launch a government-certified, longitudinal oncology nurse training, which includes nurses from referral hospitals completing a three month curriculum. Together with the Rwandan MoH, Partners In Health will produce a report analyzing the impact of providing comprehensive care based on breast cancer patient outcomes data.

People in a gathering

Kenya (AMPATH)

Breast and cervical cancer are the leading cancers impacting women in Nairobi, Kenya. The Pfizer Foundation’s grant will help support a two-year program by the AMPATH Oncology Institute to build capacity and enable quicker identification, triage and care of patients through a variety of approaches. The program will create tele-medicine and tele-pathology centers, develop a certificate-training curriculum for health care providers in oncology and expand a mobile screening unit to include breast screening. AMPATH also plans to train community health workers in clinical breast exam techniques and referral protocols, and improve data collection and sharing by establishing a cancer registry.

Woman with a drip attached

* The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions.

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