National Sickle Cell Disease Poll of African Americans Dispels Long-Held Views

Pfizer, NNPA, and Howard University Collaborate to Improve Public
Education and Awareness

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), the National Newspaper Publishers Association
(NNPA), and scholars from Howard University today announced results from
a new national poll designed to deepen understanding and gauge
perceptions around sickle cell disease (SCD) among African Americans.
The poll, which included responses from adults in the US who
self-identified as African American, revealed that while the majority of
respondents were familiar with SCD and understood the disease in
general, only one-third (36%) were aware that it
disproportionately affects people of African descent,1
demonstrating a critical need for education and awareness.

Sickle cell disease is a lifelong and debilitating disorder that affects
red blood cells.2 It is the most common inherited blood
disorder in the US, and most people living with sickle cell disease are
of African descent.3 In fact, SCD occurs in one out of every
365 African American births.4

“These poll findings will give our readers an in-depth understanding of
how sickle cell disease is perceived by African Americans,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., President of NNPA, a trade association of 211
African American-owned community newspapers from around the US. “With
this knowledge from the dedicated research team at Howard University,
and through our collaboration with Pfizer, we can spur meaningful
conversation and assess the best ways to improve disease education for
those impacted in our communities.”

The poll also revealed:

  • Despite long-standing historical perceptions of mistrust in medical
    professionals by the African American community, in this poll 91%
    of respondents indicated that they believed health care
    professionals to be trustworthy

  • Over three quarters (79%) of respondents described SCD
    as “more important” or “just as important” as other health conditions.1

  • Most respondents (76%) had positive or neutral
    attitudes toward SCD clinical trials
    and a majority indicated a
    willingness to participate in future clinical trials for SCD, given
    appropriate knowledge and recommendations from health care

    • Historically, clinical trial recruitment obstacles have been a
      barrier in SCD research. In a review of 174 SCD trials, difficulty
      enrolling patients was the stated cause in nearly half of the
      trials that terminated early.5

  • The majority (79%) of respondents understood the importance
    of disease education
    and expressed the need for additional current
    information, specifically regarding pain relief, clinical trials, and
    progress toward better treatment or a cure.1

“We are encouraged by the poll results as they have allowed us to gain a
better understanding of the perceptions of SCD among African Americans.
These insights will not only help us determine how to further enhance
disease education and awareness, but will also help us educate SCD
patients and their families about the importance of clinical trials in
bringing novel treatment options to market for those in need,” said Dr. Kevin W. Williams, Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Rare Disease. “Through
our work with patients and the community, as well as through research
and development and clinical trials, Pfizer remains committed to
addressing the unmet needs of people affected by sickle cell disease.”

The poll is a key initiative under the Pfizer-NNPA collaboration.
Throughout the rest of 2017, a series of articles with more information
regarding SCD, its impact, as well as the common myths, is also being
published in NNPA-affiliated newspapers. The poll results and
information about SCD will be shared with the NNPA network and
incorporated into future educational programs. More information about
SCD can be found at
For more information about the NNPA, please visit

About the Poll

The National Poll of African Americans on Sickle Cell Disease
 questionnaire was conducted via a telephone interviewing
system by the Howard University Interdisciplinary Research Team on
behalf of Pfizer Inc. and the National Newspaper Publishers Association
(NNPA) between June 15, 2017 and July 15, 2017. A total of 741 surveys
were completed, drawing from 31,934 telephone calls made that resulted
in polling answers from 741 individuals aged 20–70 living across the US,
who identified as being of African American ethnicity. Poll respondents
were selected from individuals who had agreed to participate in the
survey through the Howard University Interdisciplinary Research Team.
Results are weighted to the African American population projected by the
Census in the American Community Survey. The poll was conducted using a
nationally representative survey of the African American population to
accurately measure the knowledge, perceptions, and behavior of the
community with regard to sickle cell disease.

Pfizer Rare Disease

Rare disease includes some of the most serious of all illnesses and
impacts millions of patients worldwide,6 representing an
opportunity to apply our knowledge and expertise to help make a
significant impact on addressing unmet medical needs. The Pfizer focus
on rare disease builds on more than two decades of experience, a
dedicated research unit focusing on rare disease, and a global portfolio
of multiple medicines within a number of disease areas of focus,
including hematology, neuroscience, and inherited metabolic disorders.

Pfizer Rare Disease combines pioneering science and deep understanding
of how diseases work with insights from innovative strategic
collaborations with academic researchers, patients, and other companies
to deliver transformative treatments and solutions. We innovate every
day leveraging our global footprint to accelerate the development and
delivery of groundbreaking medicines and the hope of cures.

Click here
to learn more about our Rare Disease portfolio and how we empower
patients, engage communities in our clinical development programs, and
support programs that heighten disease.

Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies
to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive
to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery,
development and manufacture of health care products. Our global
portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world’s
best-known consumer health care 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 one of the world’s
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About the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)

The NNPA is a national trade association of 211 Black and women-owned
U.S. media companies with a weekly print and digital readership of over
20.1 million Black Americans. The Black Press of America is 190 years
old. The NNPA is known as the Black Press of America and the Voice of
Black America, because its member publishers are trusted, respected and
embedded in their local communities where they provide significant
influence and impact. Learn more about the

Source: Pfizer Inc.

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