NEW YORK & PARIS-- (BUSINESS WIRE) — Mar. 20, 2009-- Pfizer Inc and PlaNet Finance announced today that they will team up to conduct an in-depth research project on the healthcare needs of the working poor in China. The study will examine the availability and existing sources of medicines, patient purchasing patterns, and the level of access to medical services. The study ultimately aims to help both organizations identify models that may enhance and expand access to medicines and healthcare services for the working poor in China. The Chinese Ministry of Health recently released the results of its 4th National Health Survey, an extensive document covering healthcare patterns across the country. The Pfizer and PlaNet Finance collaboration is designed to solicit additional information from low-income populations in China to complement existing and planned government efforts to improve healthcare. Pfizer's mission in China is to meet the diverse medical needs of the country's population through a broad portfolio of innovative medicines and partnerships with local healthcare providers, academics, and government in order to support the rapid development of the country's healthcare system. "Pfizer's partnership with PlaNet Finance is aligned with the strategy to expand our geographic reach across China. I am extremely confident that this partnership will also achieve the broader aim of identifying unique and workable solutions for the diverse medical needs of patients in Emerging Markets," stated Jean-Michel Halfon, President & General Manager of Pfizer's Emerging Markets Business Unit. "This is another step forward under our Global Access program, which is unique in that we are taking a broad, holistic approach to understanding the various barriers to healthcare access, so that we can implement solutions that are effective and sustainable." For over ten years, and in over 60 countries, PlaNet Finance has been active in development and financing in the microfinance and microinsurance sectors. "Healthcare plays a major role in the fight against poverty. PlaNet Finance understands this challenge and has developed specific programs which link microfinance to healthcare -leveraging existing microfinance institution (MFI) infrastructure to implement awareness and prevention campaigns for malaria, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases. PlaNet Finance has also developed sustainable life and health insurance solutions for low-income populations through its subsidiary PlaNet Guarantee dedicated to microinsurance," explained PlaNet Finance President Jacques Attali. "We are very pleased to team up with Pfizer; this partnership will enhance our work in meaningful and lasting ways to reach out to such a vital part of Chinese society to determine their healthcare needs." This collaboration with an international non-profit organization, expert in microfinance and microinsurance, marks another milestone for Pfizer in its goal to increase access to medicines for more patients in the developing world. The company reiterated its position to adopt strategies that are commercially viable and socially responsible. Pfizer and PlaNet Finance look forward to sharing the results of this research with the Chinese government, in order to maximize its impact and reach throughout the country.