Humanitarian Programs

Recognized as one of the industry's most generous in-kind givers, Genzyme works with local governments, patient associations, humanitarian organizations and others to provide free treatment to hundreds of patients in need each year.

Serious diseases do not discriminate; they affect people from all walks of life and in all economic circumstances. Genzyme recognizes our responsibility to the patient community does not end with simply developing effective therapies. We are committed to helping those therapies reach patients, to the best of our ability, regardless of their ability to pay.

Partnerships for Humanitarian Aid

In developing countries, government and private health coverage may be nonexistent, or barely able to address basic medical care. For patients who require specialized treatment, care can be financially and logistically beyond their means. Genzyme’s Humanitarian Programs have long provided several of our therapies for free to people in these situations, by managing the process ourselves and partnering with humanitarian organizations. We rely on our organizational partners – including Project HOPE, ANERA, Direct Relief, and others – for their local expertise and relationships, which help us support patients and navigate the challenges of reaching them.

Even in countries with established health systems, patients can still face delayed or limited coverage, reimbursement difficulties, or other circumstances that prevent their access to treatment. For such cases, Genzyme Humanitarian Programs provide our therapies free of charge, while also working with governments and other local entities to help identify sustainable, long-term financial resources for treatment.

Success Story: Juan's Story

As a child, Juan developed like any other kid. His first symptoms began at the age of nine, but it would be many years before he was diagnosed with Pompe disease. Through Genzyme’s Humanitarian Program, Juan was able to gain access to treatment nearly ten years ago at the age of 28. Today, Juan works as a full time web developer and runs his own business buying and selling computer accessories. He has an active social life and speaks frequently at forums and conferences as a patient advocate.

Helping Patients Around the World

Within Genzyme’s first year of having a commercial product in 1991, patients in the United States received access to free therapy. Since then, our humanitarian efforts have evolved and expanded to support 5 different Lysosomal Storage Disorder (LSD) communities around the world.

The number of people living with LSDs is small – in the thousands or tens of thousands of people around the world. The number of patients who receive free therapy through our programs often represents a significant percentage of the total population of people living with these diseases.

  • More than 650 patients are currently receiving free therapy through Genzyme Humanitarian Programs.
  • More than 1,700 patients in 70 countries have received free therapy since these programs were introduced.
  • About 100 patients have been receiving free therapy for 10 years or longer through these programs.

Today Genzyme Humanitarian Programs are meeting the needs of patients on six continents and include:

  • International Charitable Access Program
  • Charitable Access Program (U.S.) 
  • Gaucher Initiative (Egypt)
  • India Charitable Access Program (India)
  • China Charitable Access Program (China)

Related Initiatives

Last Updated: 6/22/2015
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Humanitarian Partners

Our free drug programs and other humanitarian efforts are made possible with the help of these and other partners:

Support Services
Reaching Out to Patients

Learn about the programs and services Genzyme provides to help patients obtain access to our treatments.

Newborn Screening for Rare Diseases

Early diagnosis saves and improves lives of individuals with progressive diseases. Genzyme manufactures and donates reagents for Pompe disease & MPS I newborn screening to the CDC, which in turn distributes them worldwide without charge.

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