Pfizer and Takeda have joined together with non-profit BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) and the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer to launch the African Access Initiative (AAI).
Launched yesterday, June 21, at the 2017 BIO International Convention, the initiative will work to tackle Africa’s emerging cancer crisis by expanding access to oncology medicines and improving cancer care in Africa.
According to a statement from the initiative, cancer kills 60% more people in Africa than malaria, and the number of cancer deaths is expected to increase by almost 70% by 2030.
Four African countries—Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Kenya and Nigeria—have been selected for the first phase of the initiative.
Freda Lewis-Hall, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Pfizer, said: “At Pfizer, we strive to provide access to safe, effective, and affordable medicines worldwide, and the need is particularly urgent in oncology given the rising burden of cancer.”
Lewis-Hall added that Pfizer realises that “no single entity can accomplish this ambitious goal, so we are excited to partner with BVGH, African governmental and healthcare leaders, and leading cancer researchers on AAI”.
Christophe Weber, president and CEO of Takeda, added: “In line with Takeda’s values, our access to medicines strategy will expand on our existing commitments to enhance global health, so that our innovative and potentially life-saving medicines can be more accessible and affordable to patients in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa.”
The 2017 BIO International Convention is taking place in San Diego from June 19 to 22.