Increased Access to Cancer Treatments in Africa

Partnership objectives

Expand access to eleven essential cancer medications in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

In fact, cancer kills more people in Sub-Saharan Africa than malaria or tuberculosis. In fact, cancer kills more people in Sub-Saharan Africa than malaria or tuberculosis. Copyright Pfizer

What are the health needs and challenges?

The cancer burden is mounting in sub-Saharan Africa. Cancer kills more people in the region than either malaria or tuberculosis due to late diagnosis and lack of treatment. In 2012, there were an estimated 626,000 new cases of cancer and 447,000 cancer deaths in the region. Deaths from cancer are expected to almost double by 2030 due to aging populations. Patients are almost twice as likely to die of cancer in sub-Saharan Africa than in the United States. The five-year survival rate for women with breast cancer in the United States is 90%, but in Uganda it's just 46%. One of many important barriers to improving cancer care in Africa has been limited access to treatments.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Pfizer is collaborating with the American Cancer Society and the Clinton Health Access Initiative to provide access to critical cancer treatments such as chemotherapies in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Under the agreement, Pfizer will offer competitive prices for eleven high-quality cancer treatments through Government tenders and procurement mechanisms. Nine of the eleven medicines are on the World Health Organizations’ Essential Medicine List (EML) and are part of the treatment regimens for some of the most common cancers in sub-Saharan Africa including breast, cervical and colorectal cancer. In addition, American oncologists will simplify complex cancer-treatment guidelines for underequipped African hospitals, and IBM programmers will build those guidelines into an online tool available to any oncologist with an internet connection. This initiative is part of Pfizer's broader commitment to strengthen health systems, expand access to medicines and find sustainable solutions to critical medical needs in Africa.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Pfizer

Partner(s) American Cancer Society, Cipla Medpro, Clinton Health Access Initiative

Type of Partner(s) Generic Manufacturers, NGOs, PDPs

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Cancer

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Differential Pricing, Availability of Treatment - Patient Safety & Medicines Quality

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 6

Country(ies) Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda

Start Date 2017

More information New York Times article Website

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« We are constantly exploring ways to improve access to our medicines for patients. We are proud to work with the American Cancer Society and the Clinton Health Access Initiative on this initiative. »

Richard Blackburn, Global President, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Biosimilars, Pfizer Essential Health