By Christa Bugg, Task Force Intern
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation selected The Task Force’s MedSurplus Alliance’s (MSA) private sector partner Bayer U.S. LLC Pharmaceuticals as a finalist for the 22nd Annual Citizens Awards. The award seeks to honor purpose-driven businesses for their leadership in solving the world’s biggest challenges.
Selected for its founding role in MSA’s Kits4Life initiative, Bayer provides Kits4Life with unused supplies from clinical research trials to be repurposed as vital medical supplies for health facilities. The initiative is managed by MSA, which aims to improve access to quality donated medical products through medical surplus recovery organizations (MSROs).
“Kits4Life is striving to create a system-wide change in the field of clinical trials,” said Lori Warrens, Director of MSA. “Currently, clinical research sites destroy surplus clinical lab equipment, supplies, and tools when a trial is completed. Not only is the destruction of this surplus costly and time consuming, but it results in mass amounts of usable medical supplies and equipment ending up in landfills.”
Bayer was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to participate in Kits4Life, donating 2,189 pounds of surplus from over 200 clinical research sites across numerous U.S.-based studies within just one year. Their contributions benefit people in several countries, including 169 shipments of medical supplies to U.S. partners.
“Fortunately, Bayer was able to pilot the Kits4Life partnership within 8 months,” said Donna Libretti Cooke, Bayer’s Director of Contracting and Budgeting. “We had two very large studies that were ready to close, and thanks to the rapid implementation, we were able to prepare the sites for those studies so that they could donate the surplus supplies to our non-profit partner, Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, an MSA-accredited MSRO. Our sites have been thrilled to participate in this initiative.”
The final award winners will be announced in November.
“I think the reason Kits4Life made it to the top three of the Citizen Awards is that it’s an example of a successful innovation and partnership between the private sector, the nonprofit sector and in some cases, public sector,” said Warrens. “For example, we’re creating a paradigm shift of what happens to these products and the potential impact is significant.”
“MSA was formed to improve the quality of medical donations,” she said. “The strategy we chose was to invest in large-scale initiatives that could create system-wide changes and ultimately improve both the quality of the donations and also the quantity. If we were to win, it provides recognition for the program itself but also recognizes the ability to change systems.”
MSA is honored to be recognized alongside Bayer at the Awards and grateful for the opportunity to build awareness of Kits4Life, engage more partners, and increase access to medical supplies for health facilities that need them.
Header photo: Kits4Life medical supplies and equipment packaged and ready to for shipment to low-resource health facilities. Photo courtesy of Bayer U.S. LLC Pharmaceuticals.