Baxter Marks World Hemophidgfdfghjhtjjrklia Day, Supports New Advocacy In Action Initiative to Assist People Living With Bleeding Disorders to Achieve and Maintain Access to Care
Mississauga, Ontario, April 14, 2011: In recognition of World Hemophilia Day 2011, Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) today reaffirmed its commitment to improve access to treatment and to protect the standard of care for people living with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. Baxter is supporting the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) to launch Advocacy in Action, an innovative, five-year initiative to help countries advocate for improved and sustained care for people with bleeding disorders. The initiative is exclusively supported by a grant from Baxter, and supports this year’s WFH theme for World Hemophilia Day: “Be Inspired, Get Involved in Treatment for All.”
It is estimated that one in 100 Canadians carry an inherited bleeding disorder gene, and 1 in 10 of these, or 35,000 Canadians, have symptoms severe enough to require medical care. Approximately 3,000 Canadians are diagnosed with hemophilia A or B, and von Willebrand disease affects another 30,000 to 35,000 Canadians, though many remain undiagnosed.1
World Hemophilia Day, sponsored each year by the World Federation of Hemophilia, aims to raise awareness of hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders and their impact on the global community. It also provides an opportunity for dialogue between patients, clinicians and government on the importance of continuing Canada’s standards of care and ensuring that patients have access to the product of their choice.
“The top priority for our members in 2011 and in the years ahead is to maintain and even enhance access to optimal standards-based care across Canada," said David Page, National Executive Director of the Canadian Hemophilia Society. "Advanced new clotting factor products are in development and it will be critical for physicians and patients to maintain the freedom to choose those products that are of the greatest benefit."
Thanks to treatment advances, the overall life expectancy for hemophilia patients in many parts of the developed world has increased to more than 60 years. However, significant disparities still exist -- 75 percent of patients worldwide still do not have access to appropriate care.2 3 4
Building on the foundation of the successful WFH regional advocacy initiatives facilitated from 2006 through 2010, Advocacy in Action works to strengthen WFH’s national member organizations’ (NMOs) capacity to effectively lobby their governments on behalf of their regional bleeding disorder communities. The initiative consists of tailored, theme-based advocacy support, including interactive workshops, support tools, an individualized coaching program and a dedicated WFH staff member to assist with the implementation of advocacy and public policy action plans.
“Baxter is committed to supporting the Canadian hemophilia community through efforts that can help to improve and protect patient access to treatment and care, ultimately providing better patient outcomes,” said Serge Messerlian, Baxter Corporation, Business Unit Director, BioScience. “Patient-focused programs along with our robust research and development pipeline exhibit this steadfast commitment to patients and to the World Federation of Hemophilia’s mission of achieving treatment for all.”
In addition to supporting WFH on the new advocacy initiative, Baxter continues to support a multi-year commitment to the WFH’s 10-year Global Alliance for Progress (GAP) program as the founding and leading sponsor. Since the program’s initiation in 2003, more than 22,000 patients have been diagnosed with bleeding disorders (almost 19,000 with hemophilia) in 16 countries, and more than 13,000 health care professionals, regulators and hemophilia team members have been educated and trained.
Through its humanitarian aid partners, the WFH and AmeriCares, Baxter has reached those living with hemophilia in underserved countries with much needed factor replacement therapy donations over the past several years, of which the total market value is approximately $14 million.
Baxter also continues to invest in the research and development of new therapies to treat hemophilia A and B and von Willebrand disease. Research is underway to examine the management of hemophilia through new therapies and enhancements to existing therapies to shift the treatment paradigm to individualized care. In Canada, The Baxter Canadian Hemophilia Epidemiological Research Program (B-CHERP), a partnership between Baxter Corporation and the Association of Hemophilia Clinic Directors of Canada (AHCDC), provides Canadian investigators and hemophilia clinic directors resources to conduct quality population-based clinical research in hereditary bleeding disorders in Canada.
About World Hemophilia Day
World Hemophilia Day occurs each year on April 17. Since its creation in 1989, in honor of the World Federation of Hemophilia’s founder, Frank Schnabel, World Hemophilia Day has served as an opportunity to increase awareness of hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and their impact on the global community.
About Hemophilia A & B
Hemophilia is a rare genetic blood clotting disorder that primarily affects males. People living with hemophilia do not have enough of, or are missing, one of the blood clotting proteins naturally found in blood. Two of the most common forms of hemophilia are A and B. In people with hemophilia A, clotting factor VIII is not present in sufficient amounts or is absent. Without enough FVIII, people with hemophilia can experience spontaneous, uncontrolled internal bleeding that is painful, debilitating, damaging to joints and potentially fatal. People with hemophilia B (also called Christmas disease) do not have sufficient amounts of clotting factor IX. In about 30 percent of cases, there is no family history of hemophilia, and the condition is the result of a spontaneous gene mutation. According to the World Federation of Hemophilia, more than 400,000 people in the world have hemophilia. All races and economic groups are affected equally.5
About von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand disease is the most common type of bleeding disorder and affects both males and females. Patients with von Willebrand disease either produce insufficient von Willebrand factor or carry defective von Willebrand factor and may experience problems with forming clots to stop bleeding. It is estimated that up to one percent of the world’s population suffers from von Willebrand disease, but because many people have only mild symptoms, only a small number of them may know they have it. Research has suggested that as many as nine out of 10 people with von Willebrand disease have not been diagnosed.6
About Baxter Corporation
As the Canadian subsidiary of Baxter International Inc., Baxter Corporation manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other chronic and acute medical conditions. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. For more information visit: www.baxter.ca.
1Frequently Asked Questions About Hemophilia. Canadian Hemophilia Society. Accessed on: April 6, 2011. Available at: http://www.hemophilia.ca/en/faq/.
2Darby SC, et al. Mortality rates, life expectancy, and causes of death in people with hemophilia A or B in the United Kingdom who were not infected with HIV. Blood. 2007;110: 815-825.
3Soucie JM et al. Mortality among males with hemophilia: relations with source of medical care. Blood 2000; 96 (2): 437-442.
4Frequently Asked Questions About Hemophilia. World Federation of Hemophilia. Accessed on: 18 February 2010. Available at: http://www.wfh.org/2/1/1_1_1_FAQ.htm.
5What is Hemophilia? World Federation of Hemophilia. Accessed on: 18 February 2010. Available at: www.wfh.org/2/1/1_1_Hemophilia.htm.
6What is Von Willebrand Disease? World Federation of Hemophilia. Accessed on: 1 March 2010. Available at: http://www.wfh.org/2/1/1_2_VWD_What-is-VWD.htm.