How Pfizer is supporting SDG #3: Good health and well-being

Caroline Roan: We were proud to sign on to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

For us goal number three is our north star: "Good health and wellbeing." Every day our scientists are working to discover, develop and bring to market medicines and vaccines that help people live longer and healthier lives. And for us goal number three allowed us to have a dialogue and an engagement with the United Nations and with governments globally to ensure that we're partnering with them to provide access to quality healthcare.

When we think about access to medicines we think about a comprehensive strategy that includes both donation and philanthropic support as well as creative commercial strategies designed to drive access to the most vulnerable and underserved populations globally.

So for Pfizer we have a number of initiatives that we're very proud of. One which I like to say is our oldie but goodie was launched in 1998. The International Trachoma Initiative was launched to address a blinding disease called trachoma. At the time it was launched, we had a product that treated active infection that causes this disease. And if the infection goes untreated over time people do go blind. And what we discovered was that our medicine could treat this infection, but our medicine was not sufficient: Alone that medicine would not do the work that needed to be done at a public health level.

For our work to address a blinding disease called trachoma we've used a public health strategy called SAFE. SAFE stands for surgery – S, for advanced cases of the disease. A – the distribution of the antibiotic that Pfizer makes to treat the active infection. F which is face washing and E which is environmental development. Together that comprehensive initiative working now with more than a hundred partners has achieved elimination of this disease in six countries. That's profound. And it's one of our greatest accomplishments as a company. It did not happen overnight. It has taken more than two decades to achieve that progress, but we have our eyes on the prize which is full elimination of this disease by the year 2020.

Another example where Pfizer is working to meet the evolving global health needs is in the area of oncology. We have chemotherapy agents that are very important for patients globally. And we worked with our partners, the American Cancer Society, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and CIPLA to make 11 prioritized chemotherapy agents available in East Africa where there is a disproportionate burden of cancer. We're really proud of that initiative because we're taking some of our very important core essential medicines and making them available to reach more patients in areas of the world that several years ago did not have this need.

So the business case for corporate responsibility has been debated for years and there are different perspectives on this. I think for Pfizer and for the pharmaceutical companies we can't deliver our business unless we deliver for society.Keeping that patient that we serve front and center to how we make the decisions that the company takes every single day.

When we discover, develop and bring to market medicines and vaccines that help people live longer and healthier lives our communities are healthier, society is healthier, and we deliver both for our business and our shareholders, but also for society.

  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a set of 17 directives to be completed by a 2030 deadline, with the aim of significantly improving quality of life for all people on Earth.
  • Pfizer's commitment to the UN's SDG #3, Good Health and Well-being, is exemplified by its mission to improve global health through a combination of local and global programs catalyzed by innovative health leaders.
  • In 1998, Pfizer embarked on a 22-year mission to eradicate trachoma by 2020.Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that can cause irreversible blindness or vision impairment. So far, it has been eradicated in six countries.
  • Pfizer is a committed partner in improving global health, helping to provide a number of critical cancer medications to six African countries where an estimated 44 percent of all cancer cases in sub-Saharan Africa occur each year

Yug, age 7, and Alia, age 10, both entered Let Grow's "Independence Challenge" essay contest.

Photos: Courtesy of Let Grow
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • The coronavirus pandemic may have a silver lining: It shows how insanely resourceful kids really are.
  • Let Grow, a non-profit promoting independence as a critical part of childhood, ran an "Independence Challenge" essay contest for kids. Here are a few of the amazing essays that came in.
  • Download Let Grow's free Independence Kit with ideas for kids.
Keep reading Show less

Four philosophers who realized they were completely wrong about things

Philosophers like to present their works as if everything before it was wrong. Sometimes, they even say they have ended the need for more philosophy. So, what happens when somebody realizes they were mistaken?

Sartre and Wittgenstein realize they were mistaken. (Getty Images)
Culture & Religion

Sometimes philosophers are wrong and admitting that you could be wrong is a big part of being a real philosopher. While most philosophers make minor adjustments to their arguments to correct for mistakes, others make large shifts in their thinking. Here, we have four philosophers who went back on what they said earlier in often radical ways. 

Keep reading Show less

What should schools teach? Now is the moment to ask.

The future of learning will be different, and now is the time to lay the groundwork.

What should schools teach? Now is the moment to ask. | Caroline ...
Future of Learning
  • The coronavirus pandemic has left many at an interesting crossroads in terms of mapping out the future of their respective fields and industries. For schools, that may mean a total shift not only in how educators teach, but what they teach.
  • One important strategy moving forward, thought leader Caroline Hill says, is to push back against the idea that getting ahead is more important than getting along. "The opportunity that education has in this moment to really push students and think about what is the right way to live, how do we do it and how do we do it in a way that doesn't hurt or rob the dignity of other people?"
  • Hill also argues that now is the time for bigger swings and for removing the barriers that limit education. The online space is boundary free and provides educators with new opportunities to connect with students around the world.

Keep reading Show less

Here are 3 things white people can do right now to help #BLM

Remaining silent is being complicit.

Demonstrators pause for a moment of silence during a protest over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer, in McCarren Park in the borough of Brooklyn on June 3, 2020 in New York City.

Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Protests around the world are demanding an end to police discrimination and violence against black citizens in America.
  • Author and activist Dax-Devlon Ross offers advice on how white people can help during this moment.
  • Ross's suggestions include thinking and voting locally, supporting black-owned businesses, and practicing self-reflection.
Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…