Even with free drug programs or other forms of funding, patients' access to treatment can still be impeded by other issues: logistical and bureaucratic difficulties, inadequate health care facilities, or simply lack of knowledge. So in addition to donating our products, Genzyme works in many ways to build and maintain the many avenues necessary for medical care.
Genzyme's worldwide operations serve more than 100 countries, with a global infrastructure that includes research and development, manufacturing, regulatory affairs, medical affairs, and more. This network of expertise, plus our on-the-ground relationships with local stakeholders, enables us to bring products to patients in every corner of the globe.
Genzyme works closely with governments to facilitate approval of our treatments. In countries with established health care systems, we work with public and private insurers to secure coverage and reimbursement. In developing countries and emerging markets, we lend our experience to help physicians and local authorities build sustainable health care networks that can deliver and pay for critical treatment. Around the world, Genzyme's staff members collaborate with health care providers, humanitarian organizations, and other knowledgeable local partners to overcome barriers to treatment.
Supporting Patients in Need
Where health care systems are not yet established or patients lack financial means, Genzyme provides free treatment through a variety of programs.
Learn more about our free drug programs
Modern, well-equipped hospitals and clinics are crucial to ensuring that patients have access to Genzyme's treatments, no matter where in the world they live. We dedicate a significant portion of our charitable contributions to building medical infrastructure, supplying resources, and training staff in regions of need – particularly in the aftermath of disasters:
- Following the 2004 tsunami that destroyed areas of Southeast Asia, we partnered with the humanitarian group Project HOPE and donated $1 million over three years for several projects. These included helping to rebuild and equip a hospital in Bande Aceh, Indonesia; training pediatric critical care nurses in Thailand with a curriculum they can use for ongoing training of peers; and establishing sustainable health care infrastructure in other tsunami-affected areas.
- During the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, Genzyme donated much-needed basic health care supplies like face masks, syringes, and gloves to replenish Mexico's depleted hospitals.
- We committed $450,000 to relief efforts after Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake. Donated over three years to the non-profit Partners in Health (PIH), the money will provide laboratory and diagnostic equipment for the new, state-of-the-art Mirebalais Hospital as well as educate the country's next generation of medical professionals.
- After a major earthquake hit Japan in 2011, we responded to numerous calls for help from the Japanese community, donating medicines that were in short supply due to crippled Japanese manufacturing facilities and providing an emergency supply of medicine that could be used to aid the treatment of power plant workers who were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Our employees contributed $51,000 in cash donations to aid recovery efforts, inclusive of a $14,000 matching grant from Genzyme.
Responding to Chile's 2010 Earthquake
In the wake of the 2010 Chilean earthquake, quick action by Genzyme's employees resulted in a resumption of treatment for local patients and a donation plan to build up important local health care capabilities.
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Genzyme's business was founded on treating diseases so rare that they are often unfamiliar even to many health care professionals. We are therefore acutely aware of how important education and outreach are to identifying and effectively treating patients. Through a variety of programs, initiatives, and partnerships we have long worked to raise awareness about the diseases we treat, educate both patients and the medical community, and advance research and quality of care. For example:
- As one of the world's leading authorities on the group of rare genetic diseases called lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), Genzyme develops educational materials for both patients and professionals to increase understanding about these diseases.
- By establishing LSD registries – large, often multinational databases to which physicians contribute clinical data on patients – we help pool knowledge on rare diseases that would be otherwise difficult to study.
- We sponsor independent investigator research and provide grants for continuing medical education and research fellowships in our areas of focus.
- Our Medical Information team is staffed across all regions to answer questions about our treatments.
- We partner with local patient organizations around the world to support and advocate for the needs of their patient communities.