Anyone who knows me, knows I care deeply for patients with bleeding disorders in developing countries. I’ve been trying since 1996 to create ways to get factor concentrates to them, from simply shipping it through Project SHARE, to helping start patient nonprofits in other countries in order to ship more factor.
So whenever I hear of stories like the one I’m about to share, I get very excited, and deeply grateful. I know so many children whose lives have been forever changed by simply getting factor. It’s a miracle drug, and needed by so many.
Bayer announced last week that it is entering into a five-year partnership with the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) to bring education, training, and Bayer’s full portfolio of recombinant factor VIII (rFVIII) treatments to healthcare professionals in more than 60 countries where access to care is limited. Yes!
As part of the agreement, Bayer will provide financial assistance to support the training and education of healthcare professionals on the accurate and safe administration of treatments. WFH has local partner organizations through which they distribute the donation and manage logistics.
The expanded WFH Humanitarian Aid Program seeks to improve the lack of access to care and treatment by providing much needed support for people with inherited bleeding disorders in developing countries. As we all know all too well, providing patients with a more predictable and sustainable flow of humanitarian aid donations is critical, and the WFH Humanitarian Aid Program makes it possible for patients to receive consistent and reliable access to treatment and care.
In particular, Bayer will donate 50 million IU of factor VIII treatment in 2019. Factor VIII treatment donation will support up to 5,000 people living with hemophilia A in countries with insufficient access to care.
I’ve been to over 30 developing countries, some of them up to four times, and know many patients. I am thrilled to hear this news; it’s bold, it’s needed and it’s time. People with hemophilia continue to die. We can prevent that, and give them a chance at life, which they so deserve. Kudos, Bayer!
Footnote: In 1996, a rep from Bayer approached me to create and run a leadership program in developing countries to encourage parents and patients to start their own nonprofits and advocate for change. Project SHARE grew out of this program, and we continue today independently to provide leadership training, financial assistance and product.