MADISON, N.J. (October 6, 2010) — Pfizer Animal Health today launched a U.S. initiative reaffirming its steadfast support for the veterinary profession. Under the banner Commitment to Veterinarians, Pfizer pledged to comprehensively address the significant short- and long-term unmet needs facing practicing veterinarians and students in the United States.
Commitment to Veterinarians focuses on three key areas for veterinarian support: training and continuing education, research and development, and investing in the future of the profession.
As part of a three-year, $3 million scholarship program with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Pfizer recently announced the 2011 call for scholarship applications1 from students at U.S. colleges of veterinary medicine. The scholarships will focus on meeting ongoing needs of the veterinary profession, including strengthening diversity and increasing the number of large-animal veterinarians to serve in mixed or rural practices. To assist veterinary students, Pfizer also just launched www.VetStudentConnect.com, a new portal for students to apply for Pfizer scholarships and learn about other assistance programs.
“We see the critical importance of veterinarians in enhancing the health and wellness of companion animals and horses and in ensuring a safe, global supply from beef, pork, poultry and fish,” said Clint Lewis, President of U.S. Operations for Pfizer Animal Health. “As a leader in animal health, we want to be very clear that we’re standing side-by-side with veterinarians.”
The current U.S. business model for veterinarians is rapidly changing. Few veterinary medicine students are willing to venture into rural practices, particularly in food-animal medicine. More veterinarians than ever before are facing debt loads that may stay with them for a lifetime. The American Veterinary Medical Association recently estimated that the average veterinary student debt upon graduation totals $120,000.2 There are dwindling dollars being allocated to important research programs that address animal disease, and there also is a growing lack of diversity in the profession that needs immediate attention.
At a time when the veterinary profession is facing these significant challenges, Pfizer Animal Health is increasing its investments in the veterinary profession, including:
• Contributing more than $15 million last year alone to university and allied organizations toward scholarships and fellowship opportunities.
• Leading the industry in science-based training and continuing education, providing more than 1,700 hours a year in diverse CE opportunities that focus on disease-state information.
• Investing $300 million annually in research and development — more than any other animal health company — which have led to new therapies that address unmet medical needs.
“Now more than ever, veterinarians need our support to provide training and education, to invest in research and development and to help create the next generation of veterinarians,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Diplomate ABVP and Group Director of Veterinary Medical Services & Corporate Citizenship for Pfizer Animal Health. “This is exactly why we are reaffirming our support for veterinarians now. Many of us at Pfizer are veterinarians, too. We get it, and we are here to help.”
2Source: American Veterinary Medical Association, website access on Sept. 30, 2010: http://www.avma.org/advocacy/avma_advocate/jan09/aa)jan09b.asp.
Pfizer Inc: Working together for a healthier worldTM
At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacturing of medicines for people and animals. Our diversified global health care portfolio includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as the world’s leading biopharmaceutical company, we also collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the work. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more about our commitments to animal health, please visit us at www.pfizerAH.com.