News Feature | June 3, 2014

Pfizer Partners With Avon Foundation To Award Grants For Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Efforts

By Cyndi Root


Pfizer announced in a press release that it has formed a partnership with the Avon Foundation for Women. The two have established the Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants Program to provide funding for projects that increase public awareness of metastatic breast cancer and provide support for those living with the disease. Pfizer saw the need for the collaboration when the results of a nationwide survey that it commissioned indicated that more than 60 percent of people know very little about breast cancer.

Andy Schmeltz, regional president of Pfizer Oncology said, “We hope to move the needle on metastatic breast cancer education across a variety of audiences – patients, their loved ones, the broader breast cancer community, and the general public.” Marc Hurlbert, executive director of the Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Crusade said, “This new Avon-Pfizer partnership will address the gaps identified in the Pfizer survey.”

Pfizer and Avon Partnership

The Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants Program will award grants up to $1 million to organizations that provide information, services, and support to the metastatic breast cancer community. The grants program will use Pfizer’s survey along with expert recommendations and studies to make decisions. Grant applicants should generate meaningful ideas, action steps, and educational programs. Specifically, the program is looking to improve the patient’s quality of life, identify gaps in service, and address barriers to care.

The program is open to nonprofits in the U.S. The application is a two-step process starting with a Letter-of-intent (LOI) followed by a full proposal by invitation, based on review of the LOI. Funding will be provided up to $100,000, with the average award expected to be $25,000. Funding is for 12 months, starting January 1, 2015 or April 1, 2015.

The Pfizer Breast Cancer Survey

Pfizer conducted its breast cancer survey in April of 2014; the complete results will be available later in the year. The survey included 2,090 men and women in the United States, aged 18 or older. The company conducted another survey in 2009, with similar results as the present study. Pfizer says of the recent survey, that despite high levels of breast cancer awareness efforts, over 60 percent of those surveyed “know little to nothing about metastatic breast cancer.” The survey uncovered many misconceptions about causes and treatments. Indeed, many respondents (72 percent) believe that advanced cancer is curable. Many also thought that cancer patients were to blame for the disease because they did not take preventative measures or take their medicine.