1:00 pm EDT
For World Health Day, Concordia highlighted Concordia’s Patron Member Bayer’s multifaceted commitment to combating the spread of COVID-19 in an interview with Matthias Berninger, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Sustainability. Bayer AG has been on the frontline of the global fight against the pandemic, utilizing its expertise on health and nutrition to stunt the spread whilst also maintaining business continuity critical to long term global health and food security.
Bayer rapidly earmarked funds for both the corporation and the foundation to deploy through partnerships. It also is empowering its employees to think creatively about possible solutions as well as volunteer expertise in the healthcare space, leveraging not only funds but also employee expertise and established or accessible supply chains. Berninger linked Bayer’s company-wide commitment to activities like researching vaccines and medications, utilizing 3D printing equipment to produce masks and other PPE, and donating medicines for experimentation purposes to an employee culture of innovation and global responsibility.
Bayer’s strategic advantage in assisting many countries lies in part with its global presence. Bayer has been collaborating with German, Chinese, and additional governments to accelerate clinical trials and address health equipment shortages. In recent weeks alone, Bayer has donated over 5,000 masks to St. Louis, Missouri and helped expedite Germany’s testing capacity. Berninger expressed that, although the virus is the same across the world, each country’s needs are unique. As a result, he encouraged governments and companies to gather inspiration from each other but to act locally when implementing solutions to achieve the common goal.
Bayer acknowledged the pivotal role of its partner, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in organizing an industry wide response critical to overcoming traditional barriers to partnership. By engaging with peer pharmaceutical and life science partners under the Gates Foundation partnering framework, Bayer and others have been more able to effectively engage government partners in a coordinated fashion, thus avoiding the risk of over burdening public sector communication channels and processes.
While Bayer’s initiatives have already significantly impacted the global efficiency and effectiveness of relief delivery from the catastrophic effects of COVID-19, there is still much that needs to be done. Berninger emphasized the importance of listening and unlocking the creativity of experts operating on the ground, loosening governmental regulations to allow medicine experimentation for the creation of a vaccine, and the importance of bringing together partners to create the production capacity to provide vaccines and medication access to all.
Interested parties can look to here for more information on Bayer’s corporate and foundation initiatives, or contact Concordia to be put in touch with partners.