Grifols’ continuous research, development and production of life-saving plasma-derived medicines, together with its diagnostic systems and hospital-pharmacy solutions, all reflect its overriding mission of enhancing the health and well-being of patients.
The company works closely with patients and patient associations as part of this commitment. In 2019, Grifols channeled more than EUR 15 million in resources (a 22% increase over the previous year), earmarking most funds for product donations to facilitate access to treatment.
Grifols complements these efforts with numerous educational, awareness and patient advocacy initiatives.
Grifols supports patient advocacy groups (PAGs) by collaborating with their product-donation programs and other initiatives focused on promoting access to treatment. Its PAG collaborations always respect applicable transparency principles and country-specific regulations, which stipulate public disclosures of information. Grifols follows standard operating procedures (SOPs) to serve as a framework for the eligibility, compliance, ethics and transparency of diverse collaboration agreements, contributions and donations to patient organizations.
Grifols observes and complies with all relevant legislation and regulations that govern interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and patient organizations. These provisions include the Open Payment Program or Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Investment Interest (Sunshine Act), the EFPIA Code of best practices, and various legal transparency obligations that regulate these relationships at the national level. Grifols strongly upholds and voluntarily complies with the most stringent industry’s transparency requirements in all regions where it operates.
The Patient Community Open Houses in the U.S. are days that provide patients the opportunity to expand knowledge and deepen their understanding related to safety procedures in the plasma-collection process and plasma-derived medicines manufacturing. Grifols hosts two open houses per year at one at its facilities in Los Angeles, California, and in Clayton, North Carolina, which educate patients on these issues, while serving as a platform to bring plasma donors, employees and patients together. Additionally, Grifols hosts patient visits throughtout the year at its plasma donor centers, manufacturing facilities and corporate offices. Highlights from 2019 include:
These initiatives aspire to raise awareness among Grifols’ workforce and plasma donors on their critical role in the production of life-saving plasma medicines. At the same time, they highlight the strict regulatory framework in place to ensure the highest standards of quality and safety of plasma-derived medicines.
In 2019, Grifols also sponsored the second edition of the “Alfas en Camino” (Alphas on the Way) program in Spain, which this year coincided with the anniversary of “Alfa 1 Spain”. More than 100 patients took part in the week-long event, which included daily treks from Burgos to Santiago de Compostela, along with workshops about the disease. The company also participated in International Plasma Awareness Week (IPAW) to promote the Plasma Protein Therapeutic Association (PPTA), dedicated to educating the public on the importance of plasma proteins, the critical role plasma donors play in the production of plasma-derived medicines and raise awareness about the need to donate plasma.
Launched in Spain in 2018, AlfaCare is the first support program for patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The initiative was developed in collaboration with the Alfa-1 Spain patient association and backed by an interdisciplinary team of professionals, including psychologists and patient mentors. AlfaCare complements the standard healthcare services by providing personalized emotional and psychological support, easy-to-understand information about AADT and motivational activities to help patients better cope with the disease. Grifols has rolled out similar programs in other countries including the U.S., Germany and Canada.
AlfaCare has proven very beneficial for AADT patients. As of December 2019, roughly 180 patients had taken part in the program’s 25 workshops held throughout Spain. Feedback thus far has been extremely positive, with patients rating this initiative a 9.1 out of 10. In 2020, the program will expand its offerings to include physiotherapy and other services.
The company actively works to increase access to treatment. Grifols has supported the PatientCare program since 2006 to facilitate treatment for U.S. patients with hemophilia or primary immunodeficiency. The program addresses concrete needs through an three initiatives:
Grifols also collaborates with the World Hemophilia Federation’s Humanitarian Aid Program as part of its commitment to patient communities around the world. From 2014 to 2021, the company has pledged to donate 200 million international units (IUs) of clotting factor for patients in developing countries to ensure they receive adequate treatment. Based on WFH estimates, these donations will provide approximately 10,300 doses to treat 6,000 patients a year until 2021.
For more than a decade, Grifols is a proud supporter of the WFH’s efforts to improve access to hemophilia treatments. To date, Grifols has donated more than 100 million IUs since 2014, including 31 million in 2019.