Pfizer Pledges to Improve Health Equity in 45 Lower-Income Countries

Pfizer will provide all its current and future patent-protected medicines and vaccines available in the United States or EU on a not-for-profit basis to 45 lower-income countries.

Pfizer announced that it had launched “An Accord for a Healthier World” on May 25, 2022. The accord pledges to provide all of Pfizer’s current and future patent-protected medicines and vaccines approved in the United States or EU to 45 lower-income countries on a not-for-profit basis.

Through the accord, Pfizer has committed to providing 23 medicines and vaccines that treat infectious diseases, certain cancers, and rare and inflammatory diseases, with more slated to join its portfolio as they are approved and released. The accord includes all 27 low-income countries, as well as 18 lower-middle-income countries that have transitioned from low to lower-middle-income in the last ten years.

According to a company press release, Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, and Uganda were the first five countries to commit to join the accord. These countries' health officials will help identify and resolve hurdles beyond supply to inform the program’s roll-out. This will include expertise to support diagnosis, healthcare professional education and training, and supply chain management. Pfizer will collaborate with participants to identify quick and efficient regulatory pathways and procurement processes to reduce the time needed to make medicines and vaccines available in these countries.

“As we learned in the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout, supply is only the first step to helping patients,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO, Pfizer, in the press release. “We will work closely with global health leaders to make improvements in diagnosis, education, infrastructure, storage and more. Only when all the obstacles are overcome can we end healthcare inequities and deliver for all patients.”

To establish faster access to Pfizer’s future pipeline medicines and vaccines to the 45 countries, Pfizer is advancing work on the development of vaccine candidates for the prevention of Group B streptococcus, a leading cause of stillbirth and newborn mortality in low-income countries, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The development of another maternal vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus is also in consideration.

“Everyone, no matter where they live, should have the same access to innovative, life-saving drugs and vaccines,” said Bill Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in the press release. “The Accord for a Healthier World could help millions more people in low-income countries get the tools they need to live a healthy life. Pfizer is setting an example for other companies to follow.”

Source: Pfizer