All of Baxter's Puerto Rico Manufacturing Facilities Now Operating and Connected to Electric Grid
- Global response to help meet product supply needs for U.S. continues
- Providing ongoing assistance to colleagues and communities
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico with devastating effects on September 20, and complex recovery efforts continue across the island. Baxter activated a global response to Hurricane Maria – to support the needs of patients and healthcare providers in the U.S. and to support our employees on the island – and we continue to make progress on the road to a full recovery of our operations.
All of Baxter’s manufacturing facilities are now connected to the electric grid and operating at pre-hurricane levels. Reliable and stable electric power is key to our ongoing efforts to restore sustainable manufacturing operations. Baxter has maintained backup diesel generators in all of our Puerto Rico facilities in case of power interruptions, which still occur intermittently. We want to thank the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Puerto Rico Power Authority (PREPA), and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló and his staff for their efforts and support to help get all of Baxter's sites connected to electric power.
Addressing Current Product Supply Demands
In Puerto Rico, Baxter manufactures MINI-BAG and MINI-BAG Plus (small volume parenterals, or SVPs) Container Systems, which are primarily used in the pharmacy to compound or admix a medication or to aid in the delivery of a medication, as well as amino acids and certain pre-mixed products. Restoring reliable supply of these products remains our priority.
To help support product supply for the U.S. market, Baxter activated targeted recovery strategies across our global manufacturing network, including working with the FDA to secure regulatory discretion for the temporary special importation of certain products from Baxter facilities in Ireland, Australia, Canada, Mexico, England, Italy and Brazil. Millions of new units of special importation products have been shipped to hundreds of U.S. hospitals since late October and product continues to enter the supply pipeline. We also continue to work with the FDA to explore opportunities to leverage additional Baxter manufacturing facilities to help address product demand in the U.S.
Baxter does not manufacture large volume parenterals (LVPs, often referred to as “saline”) in Puerto Rico. Market dynamics have significantly impacted the demand for large volume parenterals. Factors ranging from overall industry capacity to an aggressive flu season, as well as the diminished supply of SVPs due to Hurricane Maria, have created a significantly higher demand for large volume products. While we’ve put in place allocations at 100% of previously purchased quantities for our contracted customers, with the higher demand, we have seen a further strain on available inventory. To help meet customer needs, we are bringing additional LVP units to the U.S. market through a recent permanent approval from the FDA for LVPs produced in one of our manufacturing plants in Mexico.
Overall, we are making progress on product supply and have in fact increased the amount of certain SVPs available to customers thanks to the improving production in Puerto Rico and the special importation products. To that end, we expect to return to more normal supply levels for products made in Puerto Rico in the coming weeks, and expect the high demand for LVPs to subside as the current flu outbreak lessens.
Supporting Baxter employees and communities
Baxter mobilized quickly in the aftermath of the storm to get our facilities back on line, and to help our local employees and their communities. Baxter’s local work force not only faced daily challenges getting to and from work as transportation and services were damaged or destroyed, but all of our 2,000 Puerto Rico team members had to deal with the urgent basic needs of their own families and neighbors. Baxter provided a combination of product donations, financial assistance and on-the-ground support to our employees in Puerto Rico going above-and-beyond to help maintain patient access to our life-sustaining products and therapies. This work continues.