TCNJ Magazine Fall 2018

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42 The College of New Jersey Magazine T rying to make a difference in the world is important to me, and I want it to always be part of the work I do," says Al Ribeiro '02. As the Global Corporate Affairs Lead for Oncology at Pfizer, his mission is to increase access to cancer treatment for patients in countries where his company's medicines aren't readily available — through a program called Max Access Solutions — and this mission has had several years to take root. In developing countries like Senegal and Paraguay, patients face significant hurdles when it comes to gaining access to cancer medicines. Instead of getting treatment within days of diagnosis, patients often wait several months to receive the necessary drugs — which, for a patient living with cancer, may mean the difference between life and death. Ribeiro and a team worked with a Seattle-based international nongovernmental organization, The Max Foundation, to establish a pathway for access to much-needed Pfizer products around the world. The partnership, which began in 2014, channels humanitarian donations of Pfizer oncology medicines to patients in low- and middle-income countries. In the collaboration's first two years, nearly 100 patients with renal cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumor from 17 developing countries were given ongoing free treatment. Pfizer currently donates four of its oncology medicines and delivers them to the patient's hospital within 15 days of the initial request. "I feel like this is the right thing to do," he says. "Having personally been touched by cancer, I know the impact that this has on their families," says Ribeiro, whose close aunt died of cancer when he was younger. In addition to increasing global access to Pfizer medicines, Ribeiro also works to ensure patients in the U.S. are getting treatments they need. On a day-to-day basis, he leads the strategic integration of public affairs and policy, communications, corporate responsibility, and external engagement initiatives around the world. His drive to become a positive agent of change started during his time at TCNJ, where he became involved in student politics (he was president of student government) and public affairs. Prior to Pfizer, Ribeiro worked on the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Rudy Giuliani and earned his master's in business administration from Georgetown University where he spent time working on an economic development project for the Johannesburg Development Agency in South Africa. "I feel fortunate to be able to learn from so many people of different backgrounds and beliefs, which sparked my interest in finding solutions to problems here in the U.S. and around the world," he says. —Meeri Kim CLASS N O T E S F A L L 2 0 1 8 BILL CARDONI Ribeiro outside Pfizer in New York City. "

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