Baxter donates products to help improve access to healthcare worldwide. In 2011, the company donated more than $47 million in products to assist people in 75 countries (see map). Baxter donates products that recipient organizations have requested specifically, including intravenous (IV) solutions, pharmaceuticals and hemophilia products. Baxter's Global Community Relations team manages the donations process, guided by Baxter's Global Product Donation Policy, which covers areas such as licensing, expiration and dating, accounting and tax laws, and export requirements.
The Global Community Relations team works with supply chain managers and others at Baxter to identify opportunities to donate products, matching available inventory to patient need. In some cases, the company donates excess products that might be classified as hazardous waste if destroyed, which has the added benefit of helping Baxter reduce waste and associated expenses.
To help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the product donation process and facilitate timely, targeted support to communities in need, Baxter focuses its efforts on proactive strategic product donations. This approach also supports a reduction in waste, since the donor organizations know in advance what to expect from Baxter and so are less likely to receive unneeded supplies.
During 2011, Baxter continued to work with its humanitarian aid partners – AmeriCares and Direct Relief International (DRI) – to pre-position product to be available for emergencies as well as to meet ongoing needs in underserved communities. AmeriCares, an international disaster-relief and humanitarian-aid organization, airlifts critical medicines, medical supplies and other aid to areas suffering humanitarian crises resulting from natural disasters or political strife. Direct Relief International, a non-profit, non-sectarian humanitarian-assistance organization, provides medical assistance to victims of poverty, disaster and civil unrest. Baxter collaborates with these two organizations – which have complementary missions, yet different focus areas and local partnerships – to develop a yearly product donation plan. This helps ensure that Baxter contributes most needed products to stabilize supply in least developed and developing economies, and that the company’s products are first on the scene following disasters and tragedies.
Baxter products with long shelf lives were shipped to aid partners in the first and fourth quarters of 2011 to provide organizations a steady supply of medicines for ongoing support as well as critical therapies to offer in times of crisis. For example:
- Horn of Africa – The region experienced its worst drought in more than half a century in 2011, with widespread famine and cholera cases. AmeriCares sent Baxter IV solutions to Somalia from pre-positioned stock as well as additional shipments in the first quarter of 2012.
- Pakistan – DRI shipped medical products to assist in the aftermath of the October 2011 floods.
- Vermont, United States – A free clinic here received Baxter IV solutions through DRI in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene as it responded to the influx of new patients with respiratory illnesses and nutritional needs.
- El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua – DRI shipped Baxter products here in early 2011 for hurricane preparedness that were used for emergency response during the October mudslides and flooding in these countries.
Baxter continues to fine tune its product donations list to provide products that will be first on the scene following disasters and tragedies while also helping organizations meet their ongoing needs.
Addressing a Cholera Outbreak in Haiti
Strategic shipments from Baxter positioned AmeriCares to pull from inventory and provide IV solutions to treat dehydration resulting from a severe cholera outbreak in Haiti in October 2010 following the January 2010 earthquake. This potentially deadly diarrheal disease is a risk after any disaster – particularly earthquakes – due to poor sanitation and a lack of clean water. During the outbreak, which continued well into 2011, AmeriCares donations of medicines and supplies reached hundreds of patients treated at the Centre de Sante La Grace du Bon Samaritain, a clinic serving the population of Cazale, Haiti and the surrounding rural mountain villages. The clinic is run by AmeriCares partner, Real Hope for Haiti. “The early donations from AmeriCares were literally what allowed us to treat the first cholera patients who came to our door – even before we knew it was cholera,” said clinic director Lori Moise, RN.
Responding to Crises in Japan and Thailand
In 2011, Baxter’s long-standing relationships with AmeriCares and DRI helped facilitate timely, targeted support in response to the earthquake and tsunami that struck the east coast of Japan in March 2011. Baxter donated more than 4,000 units of intravenous (IV) antibiotics and other IV solutions through AmeriCares. Baxter employees in Japan also worked to ensure that patients in the affected areas had access to essential medical products. They reached out to 1,200 peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients in the region to make sure they could still conduct their treatment. With many roads closed shortly after the disaster, Baxter worked closely with its supply chain partners to provide life-saving dialysis products to patients in need.
Baxter took part in similar relief efforts when Thailand was hit by extreme rainfall and flooding in October and November of 2011. The company coordinated an emergency shipment of IV solutions to the country and worked closely with the distributors, PD centers, hospitals and the Thai government to ensure that the country’s PD patients had access to the supplies needed for their dialysis therapy regardless of their location. Baxter also provided first aid kits and other necessities to local residents and offered assistance to Baxter employees impacted by the disaster.
Baxter continues to work with these donor partners to assess ongoing relief needs in these countries.
World Federation of Hemophilia Global Alliance for Progress
Baxter also facilitates access to healthcare through support of non-profit organizations such as the World Federation of Hemophilia, an international non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with hemophilia and related bleeding disorders. Baxter is the founding sponsor of the organization's 10-year Global Alliance for Progress (GAP) program, which works to improve the diagnosis and treatment of hemophilia in developing countries. Since its launch in 2003, GAP has diagnosed more than 27,000 patients with bleeding disorders – including 23,000 with hemophilia – in 18 countries, and educated and trained more than 13,000 healthcare professionals and regulators.
Through the World Federation of Hemophilia and AmeriCares, Baxter has donated approximately $20 million worth of factor replacement therapy to those living with hemophilia in underserved countries.
Patient Assistance Programs
Baxter maintains a number of U.S. patient assistance programs to help ensure continuous access to product in the event of an insurance lapse, for those who qualify.
Additionally, in order to support the community and access to healthcare, Baxter is a long-time supporter of Patient Services, Inc. (PSI), a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to patients with rare disorders to help them afford their health insurance coverage. Over the last 13 years, Baxter has contributed more than $7.5 million to PSI's programs that support patients with bleeding disorders, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AAT) and primary immune disease. Through these efforts, PSI assisted more than 700 patients with these disorders in 2011.
In 2010, Baxter launched the myPN Support program, a patient assistance program in the United States aimed at supporting patients who qualify with continued access to certain parenteral nutrition (PN) drug therapy, and in 2011, expanded the program to include both U.S. citizens and non-citizens who are legal residents. For more information, please see the section on Baxter’s patient and caregiver services and programs.
When healthcare professionals travel overseas to provide charitable medical care to under-served populations, they often work in hospitals and clinics lacking modern surgical suite materials. Baxter's BioSurgery hemostatic and tissue sealant products as well as anesthesia products are some of the most requested Baxter products in these situations. During 2011, AmeriCares sent 36 shipments with Baxter products to 24 countries in support of medical missions.
The Global Community Relations team also works closely with the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD) to benchmark Baxter’s practices and disaster response services. The organization’s mission is to collaborate with member companies and humanitarian aid organizations that share a commitment to advancing effective drug and medical supply donation practices. In 2011, the Global Community Relations team developed an internal training program to educate managers on Baxter’s Global Product Donation Policy. The program launched in January 2012 as a required training for all Baxter directors and above globally.
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