Pfizer Inc. announced on Tuesday it is expanding its initiative focused on reducing health inequities in many lower-income countries by offering “the full portfolio of medicines and vaccines for which it has global rights on a not-for-profit basis.”
In May 2022, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) member launched ‘An Accord for a Healthier World’ “to enable greater health for 1.2 billion people living in 45 lower-income countries.”
The initiative initially included a commitment from Pfizer for access to all its patented medicines and vaccines available in the U.S. or European Union on a not-for-profit basis,” which at the time were 23 products.
Equity is the core value
Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said they launched the Accord “to help reduce the glaring health equity gap that exists in our world.” The company hoped to “empower country governments and co-create solutions with them and other multi-sector partners to break down many of the system-level barriers to better health.”
The expansion of the initiative stems from the increasing need for “access to a broader and more immediate scope of consistent, high-quality products … for meaningful and sustainable transformation,” and its goal is “to better align with disease burden and unmet patient needs in the countries,” said Bourla.
Since the Accord’s launch, Pfizer has engaged with governments in most of the 45 eligible countries.
“We are working closely with government and health experts in the five initial launch counties – Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, and Uganda – and are focused on listening and understanding the health needs of these countries to identify how the Accord can most effectively support national health goals and impact patient lives,” Pfizer says.
“Nine Pfizer medicines and vaccines for the treatment of certain cancers, infectious and inflammatory diseases” have already been delivered to Rwanda in collaboration with the Rwandan Ministry of Health.
Pfizer also sent its first Global Health Team to the country to provide professional healthcare education and training and “help identify opportunities for long-term supply chain optimization.”
Pfizer Accord expansion includes antibiotics, cancer treatments
The company has significantly expanded its commitment to off-patent products, bringing the total offering to around 500 medicines.
“The Accord portfolio offering now includes patented and off-patent medicines and vaccines that treat or prevent many of the greatest infectious and non-communicable disease threats faced today,” the release says.
The expanded offer includes oral cancer treatments and chemotherapies with the potential “to treat nearly one million new cancer cases in Accord countries each year,” as well as a wide range of antibiotics to address rising AMR-associated morbidity, mortality, and costs and help prevent around 1.5 million deaths a year caused by intrahospital bacterial infections and infections at community health clinics.
The Accord’s portfolio will include on a not-for-profit basis the new medicines and vaccines as Pfizer launches them.
“We believe this expansion of our product offering, combined with continued efforts to help address the barriers that limit or prevent access, will help us to achieve and even expedite our vision of a world where all people have access to the medicines and vaccines they need to live longer and healthier lives,” said Bourla.