Pfizer launches initiative to address inequities global health system… project to benefit 1.2bn people in low-income countries

Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) has launched ‘An Accord for a Healthier World’ to address the inequities in the global health system.

The initiative aims to provide all of Pfizer’s patented, high-quality medicines and vaccines available in the U.S or the European Union on a not-for-profit basis to 1.2 billion people in 45 lower-income countries.

Pfizer in a statement said the Accord sough to greatly reduce the health inequities that existed between many lower-income countries and the rest of the world.

It said the Accord countries include all 27 low-income countries as well as 18 lower-middle-income countries that have transitioned from low to lower-middle-income classification in the last 10 years. 

The statement said Pfizer would work with healthcare officials in Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda to identify early insights and opportunities to ensure all medicines and vaccines could reach those in need.

 “To further this commitment, Pfizer, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is advancing work on the development of vaccine candidates for the prevention of Group B Streptococcus (GBS), which is a leading cause of stillbirth and newborn mortality in low-income countries. They are also discussing opportunities to support Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine development, another maternal vaccine,” the statement said.

President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo commenting on the Accord said “We must continue to strive for quality healthcare for all people to live longer, stronger and healthier lives.  It will require strong cooperation between the public and private sectors. We are proud to join this Accord to work together on this important goal.”

 For his part, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame said “Rapid and affordable access to the most advanced medicines and vaccines is the cornerstone of global health equity. Pfizer’s commitment under the Accord programme sets a new standard in this regard. Combined with additional investments in strengthening Africa’s public health systems and pharmaceutical regulators, the Accord is an important step toward sustainable health security for countries at every income level.”

“Senegal proudly supports the launch of An Accord for a Healthier World to improve health equity and outcomes for the people of our country and across the world,” said MackySall, President of Senegal. “Together, we will work for a better world.”

“The great thing about this Accord is that it helps low-income countries without violating their dignity and agency as a people, for it is a true partnership that involves both Pfizer and countries like Malawi sharing the burden of costs and tasks in the production and delivery of supplies that will save millions of lives. This is how all global problems should be tackled,” Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi said.

“It is the time to close the health equity gap,” said Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda. “Uganda is proud to join the Accord, and we are committed to working with Pfizer and all Accord partners to find new ways to address access challenges.”

The Chairman and Pfizer Chief Executive Officer, Albert Bourla, in his remarks said “As we learned in the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout, supply is only the first step to helping patients. 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.” 

‘‘Everyone, no matter where they live, should have the same access to innovative, life-saving drugs and vaccines,” said Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill  and  Melinda Gates Foundation, adding that “The Accord for a Healthier World could help million 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.”

BY TIMES REPORTER

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