Reinforcing Commitment to Address Unmet Needs
- Leading biopharmaceutical company aims to build on record-setting 2021 thanks to its industry-leading products and innovation pipeline across its six therapeutic areas: vaccines, oncology, inflammation and immunology, internal medicine, rare diseases, and anti-infectives and sterile injectables
- Pfizer delivered medicines to more than 4.1 million patients across Africa and the Middle East in 2021, and is aiming to increase this by 45% in 2022
- Regional plan is to continue leading COVID-19 prevention and care, while also planning to have more than 50 product launches this year across AfME
- The company is committed to driving health equity across the region, hoping to support the lives of over 10,000 patients in 2022 through its access programs
Regional leaders from Pfizer in Africa and the Middle East region (AfME) announced on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 in a media roundtable their plans for delivering breakthroughs to more patients across the region, aiming to impact more than 45 percent more people in 2022 versus 2021. The company will continue to play a leading role in the global fight against COVID-19, while having more than 50 product launches across AfME, thereby addressing unmet needs and critical public health challenges.
The roundtable also shed light on how Pfizer is driving health equity across the region through affordability programs for those who cannot afford their medicines, including enrollment models and flexible payment options.
Patrick van der Loo, Regional President of Pfizer AfME, commented, “As we continue to raise the bar within science and patient impact in the region, we are seeking even stronger collaborations with healthcare professionals, communities, and governments to ensure greater access to our breakthroughs. In 2021, we have reached more than 4.1 million patients across AfME, and inspire to increase patients access by more than 45% in 2022. In addition to the 100 breakthroughs available in the region to support patients across six therapeutic areas – vaccines, oncology, inflammation and immunology, internal medicine, rare diseases, and anti-infectives and sterile injectables – we are planning to have over fifty product launches this year.”
He said, “We are also working towards placing affordability at the heart of our business, and last year, we have managed to support the lives of over 4,500 patients suffering from various oncology, inflammatory, and rare diseases through our 30 access programs in 11 countries across the region. We are aspiring to launch more than 5 new programs, in addition to expanding some of our current ones to include new treatments in 2022. Our hope for this year is to support the lives of over 10,000 patients across AfME.”
“Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of life but we soldiered on despite all odds, and proved that we were up to the challenge. Pfizer has pledged to provide 2 billion doses of our COVID-19 vaccine to low and middle income countries in 2021 and 2022 – at least 1 billion doses each year. We have fulfilled this pledge for 2021 and as of February 6, 2022, we have delivered more than 1.1 billion doses to 101 low and middle income countries. When it comes to our novel COVID-19 antiviral treatment (Paxlovid), we expect to produce 120 million treatment courses in 2022, depending on the global need. In the Middle East, Paxlovid is now available in many countries, and we are currently engaging in discussions with other local governments”, van der Loo added.
Yasser El Dershaby, Vice President and Regional Medical Lead at Pfizer AfME, commented: “Patients and innovations are the driving force behind all our actions – which means that, at Pfizer in AfME, our pipeline is highly attuned to the needs of patients in the region. We also stay laser focused on clinical excellence and local R&D efforts. In fact, in 2021, across AfME, we generated data in 44 publications, 20 non interventional studies (NIS) and 18 clinical trials. In Saudi Arabia alone, we have collaborated with research centers to conduct phase II and III clinical trials in hemophilia, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. This year, we are planning to bring more Phase I and II clinical trials in South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Gulf Countries, and develop several programs to bolster research capabilities and develop the infrastructure.”
Pfizer is also leveraging innovation to place itself as a key catalyst in health and socioeconomic growth across the region. The company continues to lead new programs in partnership with governments to create a nurturing environment for sustainable investments, including the cultivation and training of the next-generation workforce, enhancement of local R&D capability, appropriate technology transfer, as well as increased clinical trial efforts. For instance, Pfizer is joining forces with the Biovac consortium to train South African healthcare professionals to produce Pfizer’s pneumococcal conjugate vaccine locally. To date, Pfizer has invested $24.5 million, with an additional $33.8 million expected over the coming years to ramp up production. As soon as Pfizer’s workforce development regiment and full technology transfer have been completed, more than a million babies will be treated annually with Pfizer’s product through the expanded program on immunization.