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US pharma giant targets heart disease at county level

By Meng Fanbin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-08-14 16:30

A cardiovascular disease project aimed at bringing down the morbidity and mortality of the disease at the grassroots level was launched on August 11.

The grassroots doctors' management level is also expected to be raised through the county-level project in cooperation with National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Pfizer China, a subsidiary of United States-based biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.

"Pfizer is willing to help people in remote counties and villages with its side-effects free drugs and rich management experience in chronic diseases," said Wu Xiaobin, president of Pfizer Greater China, at the launch ceremony.

China’s Cardiovascular Disease Report 2016 showed that the disease has become a major public health problem in the country with 290 million patients, and it has also become the first cause of death for urban and rural residents.

Since May 2016, Pfizer has cooperated with more than 20 county-level governments and health administration departments, supporting their projects targeted at hypertension.

The projects will build a system which will include screening, diagnosis, treatment and long-term management at medical institutions in these counties.

"As one of the leading biopharmaceutical companies in cardiovascular therapy, Pfizer has been committed to the management and prevention of chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases in China," Wu said.

Until now, there are 23 pilot counties supported by the transnational cooperation under the cardiovascular disease project.

"The number of the piloted counties is expected to reach 30 by the end of 2017, benefiting 150,000 patients," said Wu Feng, vice-president of Pfizer China, adding that the project will cover 80 counties and 400,000 patients within three years.

In order to improve the grassroots doctors' cardiovascular disease diagnosis and treatment ability, the project will invite specialists to undertake face-to-face training over disease prevention and control every quarter and hold online lectures every month.

"We will also provide a certain amount of free drugs to patients, so as to relive their treatment pressure," said Jiang Lixin, director assistant of the National Center for Cardiovascular Diseases.

The project is another action announced by Pfizer as part of its social responsibility in China.

"Our purpose to take part in the project is to improve the standardization of the diseases' treatment and reduce the economic burden of local people using high-quality drugs," said Wu Xiaobin.

"We hope these actions can actually help Chinese people to curb the illness."