Our Business, Our Purpose
Access to Medicines
The science of providing access to patients who need life-saving treatments is often complicated and requires collaboration and partnership. At Pfizer, we leverage our size and scale to create a strong infrastructure for supporting global public health efforts. We take a holistic look at the world’s most pressing challenges and make strategic decisions about where Pfizer is best positioned to not only impact patients today, but also in the future. We discover, develop and bring to market life-saving medicines and vaccines that help improve people’s lives while helping individuals to get and maintain uninterrupted access to our products.
For nearly 170 years, Pfizer has been making important health contributions globally and at the community level. The impact of this work is both significant and far-reaching, touching the lives of patients across geographies and health care needs. Through our Corporate Responsibility programs alone, we reach millions of patients every year.
Responding with Medicine, Science and Support in a Time of Need
In 2017, we witnessed several devastating natural disasters across the world. In the aftermath of these events, Pfizer activated a comprehensive and coordinated plan at a company-wide level to provide disaster relief to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as the October earthquake in Mexico. The Pfizer Foundation1 has provided significant cash grants to key organizations leading relief efforts on the ground in the impacted areas, including the American Red Cross, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, One America Appeal (Presidents Fund), World Vision and Americares. The organizations use the resources based on their assessment of the needs of the populations affected, and the donations are not tied to any isolated event or geographic region.
The Pfizer Foundation also has extended its one-to-one match for monetary donations made by global Pfizer colleagues to organizations supporting the relief efforts. Our colleagues lead numerous volunteer efforts in our offices, including packing up thousands of hygiene kits for International Medical Corps on the ground in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. We also donated and shipped tens of thousands of doses of our essential health and consumer health care products to affected areas through Direct Relief and Americares.
In addition, we implemented disaster relief protocols for our patient assistance programs, allowing existing patients who get their medicines through a Pfizer patient assistance program to request early refills or new shipping addresses, and temporarily waiving financial documentation requirements for eligible new patients who may have lost their paperwork in these crises or their aftermath.
When our operations in Puerto Rico were impacted by Hurricane Maria, to ensure colleague safety and minimize business interruption, well-trained crisis management teams were immediately activated to first support colleagues and then work to support safely restarting operations. We provided colleagues who work at our Puerto Rico manufacturing and commercial sites with personal care kits, generators and other items to help them through the devastating situation. Our employees also gave back by distributing potable water from our sites to members of the community.
Innovating How We Help Patients Receive Assistance
Pfizer understands and appreciates patients’ concerns about the cost of their prescription medicines – whether they lack insurance, or have coverage but face high co-pays and deductibles. That’s why, for more than 30 years, we have empowered eligible patients in the U.S. with information and assistance in securing access to our medicines prescribed by their doctors. Through Pfizer RxPathways®, we connect patients to Pfizer and industry programs offering insurance support, co-pay assistance, medicines for free or at a savings and more.
To learn more about Pfizer RxPathways® and its offerings, patients can visit the website at www.PfizerRxPathways.com or call the toll-free number 844-989-PATH (7284). When patients contact our Pfizer RxPathways call center, trained Pfizer Medicine Access Counselors work one-on-one with patients – in English, Spanish or 240 other languages through our language line translation service – to understand their situation and determine the best way for Pfizer to help. We also refer patients to industry-wide initiatives, such as the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, if we learn they have been prescribed medicines that are not made by Pfizer.
Watch how Pfizer RxPathways provides real support for real people:
Leveraging Digital Micro-Targeting Technology
Our evolving health care environment can be complex and confusing, and we want to let patients know that help may be available to them. To do so, we launched our first ever direct-to-consumer digital ad to highlight the help that Pfizer RxPathways can provide.
Thanks to digital advancements and micro-targeting capabilities, we were able to target the ad to regions with the most need and were, therefore, better able to directly reach patients and caregivers who might be eligible for assistance and provide them with a path to receive the medicines they need.
Improving Access to Cancer Care in Sub-Saharan Africa
To expand access to essential cancer treatments in sub-Saharan Africa, we partnered with the American Cancer Society and the Clinton Health Access Initiative on a groundbreaking market access agreement. Through this agreement, we broadened access to 11 essential cancer treatments in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. An estimated 44 percent of all cancer cases that occur in sub-Saharan Africa each year occur in these six countries.3
Transforming Access to Contraception
Broadening access to our medicines is a key priority, and we continue to develop new and creative commercial strategies that can work more effectively in underserved communities.
The unmet need for contraception remains high. An estimated 225 million women in developing countries would like to delay or prevent pregnancy but are not using any method of contraception.
That is why we have robust efforts underway, through a collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and a consortium of organizations from both the private and public sectors, to help broaden access to Sayana® Press (medroxyprogesterone acetate) for women living in some of the world’s poorest countries. Sayana Press is our all-in-one injectable contraceptive, and its active ingredient (subcutaneous depo medroxyprogesterone acetate) was added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines in 2017. The Model List outlines treatments WHO believes should be available to all individuals worldwide, underscoring the importance of getting this treatment to women who need it. A multi-year extension of our collaboration was announced in May, and as a result Sayana Press is now available to qualified purchasers at a guaranteed price of $0.85 per dose, a reduction from the previous price of $1.00 per dose.
By working together to expand the range of contraceptive options available, more women in more countries have had access to Sayana Press every year. By the end of 2017, more than 16 million units of Sayana Press were shipped to 23 countries in the developing world, potentially reaching more than four million women – up from an estimated 1.5 million women at the end of 2016. Pfizer is continuing to make investments in its manufacturing facilities to meet the expected increase in market demand.
Because of its unique contraceptive delivery technology – enabling the product to be compact, discreet and easily transportable – Sayana Press can be provided in low-resource, non-clinic settings, potentially transforming the way in which women can access and receive their preferred method of contraception.
Helping to Prevent Pneumococcal Disease Through Vaccination
Through our partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, we provide Prevenar 13® (Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine [Diphtheria CRM197 Protein]) to infants and children through Gavi’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Through the AMC, Pfizer has committed to supply up to 740 million doses of this critical pneumococcal vaccine at our lowest global price through 2025. In fact, one out of every two doses we make of this vaccine goes to the world’s poorest countries through Gavi.
Harnessing the Innovative Power of Social Entrepreneurship
A robust private sector is critical to generating sustainable and permanent solutions. Providing grants to social entrepreneurs and organizations supports ideas that, when taken to the next level, can help develop a market to provide health care options for those in need of affordable, quality care.
The Pfizer Foundation’s Health Delivery and Social Innovation portfolio aims to catalyze and scale high-impact innovations that have the potential to improve health for underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. These social entrepreneurs are thinking big by starting small, implementing local innovations that can lead to widespread changes in the future.
Through the Global Health Innovations Grants (GHIG) program, organizations are taking a unique approach to addressing gaps in care. ayzh, for example, is a social enterprise in India that provides low-cost maternal health products. The organization’s core offering is a $3 clean birthing kit that provides mothers with the essential materials recommended by WHO for a safe and hygienic birth. With the Pfizer Foundation’s help, ayzh has grown rapidly, reaching more than 1.5 million mothers and children with sustainable, low-cost interventions to help reduce maternal mortality and improve women and children’s health. Pfizer Foundation funding is also helping ayzh expand their manufacturing and distribution presence in Southern India.
Creating Integrated Immunization and Family Planning Programs
Around the world, organizations and entrepreneurs are implementing creative and disruptive approaches to solve global health challenges. But these solutions require support, including funding, to expand their reach. That’s why the Pfizer Foundation has focused its global health strategy on providing funding and technical assistance to accelerate these new, locally driven approaches.
Through our Women and Children’s Health portfolio, the Pfizer Foundation is supporting innovative, data-driven projects to help improve access to immunization and family planning services. The portfolio includes:
- mHeath platforms to improve immunization coverage for children in difficult-to-reach populations in Indonesia, Uganda and Zambia. This includes providing health workers with mobile technology to register children and help track vaccination schedules in real time
- High impact programs in Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Benin and Kenya that integrate immunization delivery and family planning services in an effort to improve access to information and care for women and children in the developing world
In Malawi, for example, the Pfizer Foundation partnered with Save the Children to expand a pilot program that improves access to critical health care for women and children by combining family planning and immunization services.
For women living in Malawi, where most people make the equivalent of $1 per day, quality health care is critical to fostering an equal and fair society. However, access to health services is not easy to come by in many rural areas, and women often have few resources to spend on health care and minimal time to make clinic visits. Through the Save the Children partnership, women who bring their children to health care facilities for immunizations are also offered family planning counseling at the same site, cutting down on the number of clinical visits and ensuring mothers receive care for themselves. Participants in the program report better health outcomes for newborns, higher rates of completion for first-year immunization schedules, improved family planning outcomes and increased confidence and ability for mothers to advocate for their families’ health.
Addressing the Global Opioid Epidemic
The Pfizer Naloxone Access Program reflects Pfizer’s longstanding commitment to improve health outcomes by expanding access to medicines and ensuring patient safety through educational activities associated with appropriate use of prescription medicines. In 2017, we committed to donate up to 250,000 doses per year of Naloxone Hydrochloride Injection to Direct Relief – a humanitarian aid organization that provides support in underserved communities and in emergency settings – over the course of the next four years (one million total doses). Direct Relief distributes the product, which treats opioid overdose, to its nationwide network of more than 4,000 nonprofit sites.
Working to Eliminate the World’s Leading Infectious Cause of Blindness
Our experience has shown us that collaboration is essential to solving complex global public health challenges. An example of this approach is our work with the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), part of a global network of more than 100 diverse partners working together to eliminate trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness. Trachoma primarily affects remote communities with severely limited access to health care, clean water or sanitation, and nearly 182 million people are living in trachoma-endemic areas in 42 countries.
ITI is an independent, nonprofit organization that was co-established in 1998 by Pfizer and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. ITI is now housed at The Task Force for Global Health, an independent nonprofit organization where ITI manages our donation of Zithromax® (azithromycin). ITI collaborates with governmental and non-governmental agencies at local, national and international levels to implement the WHO-recommended SAFE strategy (Surgery to treat the blinding stage of the disease, known as trichiasis, Antibiotics to clear infection, Facial cleanliness, Environmental improvement including better access to water and sanitation to help reduce transmission for trachoma control).
Since the partnership was formed, this initiative has treated more than 100 million people in 36 countries. Pfizer, through ITI, has shipped more than 705 million doses of the antibiotic Zithromax for the treatment of trachoma since 1998.
In 2017, WHO validated that Mexico, Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic successfully eliminated trachoma as a public health problem.
Learn more about the journey of our antibiotic used to help treat and prevent trachoma, and the global network of people that makes it all possible.
Highlighting Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Efforts at Pfizer Headquarters
In April, we unveiled an outdoor display at Pfizer’s headquarters in New York to spotlight our collaborative efforts with the global health community to address NTDs. The display spanned 14 large panels surrounding the ground floor of our building.
1. The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions.
2. Data on file. Pfizer Inc., New York, NY.
3. International Agency for Research on Cancer. GLOBOCAN 2012: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012 [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2014 May 12]. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr/Default.aspx