Updated on 13 March 2013
Welcome to drug development. It is disappointing because we were looking forward to an opportunity to make a dent in the devastating disease of Alzheimer's in the near term. Our biggest regret is that we will not be able to deliver a near-term intervention to the patients suffering from Alzheimer's. But out of the downsides of accepting the option to stop a trial like this, is the upside, and that is that we should be able to get some important information out of the data that we have collected to help inform the future around this disease. We are doing subset analyses looking at the data that we have and we hope to contribute to new research in the space.
How is Pfizer committed to promote "Healthy Aging" in Asia Pacific?
We had an exciting launch last year of a program called "Get Old". We wanted to stimulate and amplify the discussion on aging and to create a dialogue so that we can not only tell what we know about aging but also hear what others believe about aging. . Around the world, aging is a wonderful opportunity but also offers very significant challenges. In countries like China, Vietnam and Singapore the aging phenomenon is quite dramatic and we are looking at staggering numbers of people who are over 65 in very near term.
Let's take India for example: By the year 2050, there will be about 323 million people over the age of 60. That is larger than most countries. In India at that time you will have a country full of people who are over 60. That's good -- that means our longevity is improving -- but it is also a challenge. Because aging is one of the significant risk factors for some of the most dangerous diseases, cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's. So this age wave becomes a tsunami of devastating non-communicable disease.
Pfizer is interested in two things. We want to help where we can on education and focusing on a healthy lifestyle and we want to have an impact on prevention, early detection and having viable treatment for these diseases which now may not have the most innovative therapies.
That's where we have begun to put our focus. How do we understand how lifestyle contributes and figure out what we can do about that? On the prevention side, adult vaccination is happening in Asia at woefully low rates. We have begun to get up to speed on childhood vaccination, but most adults don't realize that as they age they become more vulnerable to diseases and therefore adult vaccination should be considered. A lot of people who die from chronic diseases actually die from secondary consequences like pneumonia.