Pfizer public-private partnerships highlight the possibilities of entrepreneurship for good
Complex global health challenges require innovative solutions and, as a result, the role of corporations in sustainable development has evolved significantly. In recent years, social engagement and public-private partnerships (PPPs) have emerged as critical resources for addressing some of the world’s most challenging public health issues. Pfizer embraces these forms of collaboration with the belief that socially responsible entrepreneurship is essential to improving health outcomes for every individual.
According to Darren Back, Senior Director of Social Investments at Pfizer, corporate investment in some of the world’s toughest health challenges extends beyond grants and donations. The company builds partnerships with social entrepreneurs and organizations in communities throughout the world, recognizing the unique perspectives and capabilities of those closest to the people Pfizer serves. By engaging individuals and organizations who know what and where the gaps are in today’s global health care ecosystem, Pfizer applies an “entrepreneurship for good” mentality to make a meaningful impact, while advancing its support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Pfizer forges alliances with those on the frontlines implementing new ideas and strategies to improve public health, including PQMD members. Other examples include the Pfizer Global Health Innovation Grants, which were awarded to 15 organizations in eight different countries this year to support innovative health products and services for underserved populations. The program is funded by the Pfizer Foundation[i] and enables the company to work directly with social entrepreneurs on the ground to gain first-hand insights that can inform strategies for the greater good.
“We need to think beyond the traditional idea of philanthropic donations and look at opportunities to build partnerships with local experts and innovators, utilizing that spirit of entrepreneurship so we can problem-solve together,” says Back. “In Kenya, for example, we learned that money and savings are key barriers to health care access for many people. With this insight, Pfizer has been working with partners to create mobile health wallets, where families can save money specifically for their health care needs.”
The Pfizer Foundation has also supported the work of North Star Alliance, which created a network of roadside health clinics made from refurbished shipping containers in order to reach remote communities in East Africa; Sevamob, which uses an innovative subscription model to provide primary and preventative care to low-income patients in India via mobile clinics; and Clínicas del Azúcar, which uses a sophisticated fixed-fee payment plan to provide cost-effective diabetes care to low-income patients in Mexico.
Through these unique partnerships with innovators and social entrepreneurs, Pfizer is able to leverage its capabilities and resources to help mobilize change. In today’s global economy, this entrepreneurial approach is the key to reaching lasting solutions that will improve health for individuals around the world.
[i] The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. It is a separate legal entity from Pfizer Inc. with distinct legal restrictions.