Baxter International Inc. said Thursday while it is anticipating a reduction in revenue for fourth quarter 2017 as a result of Hurricane María, it expects to “mitigate the related earnings impact through positive performance in other areas of the business.”
Baxter’s three Puerto Rico manufacturing sites sustained minimal structural damage from the impact of Hurricane María, and limited production activities resumed across its facilities within one week of the storm.
Diesel generators designed to power the facilities are driving manufacturing operations and satellite communications are also being used to restore connectivity and support plant operations.
In Puerto Rico, Baxter manufactures products used across the hospital setting, from premixed injectables to products used in the delivery of medications.
The medications made in Puerto Rico are small volume parenterals, such as 50mL and 100mL presentations (brand names Mini-Bag and Mini-Bag +).
These products are used primarily in the pharmacy to compound or admix a medication or to aid in the delivery of medication.
Baxter is working closely with customers and has taken proactive steps to responsibly manage inventory distribution as its Puerto Rico operations continue to ramp up production, it confirmed.
Baxter has activated a global response to support recovery from the devastating impact of the natural disasters in Puerto Rico. In advance of the hurricanes, Baxter implemented a hurricane preparedness plan to help mitigate potential impact, including proactively moving some finished product off the island and into secure storage, the company stated.
Baxter is also delivering products to customers on the island to help address patient need. Additionally, Baxter has been working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has recently been granted regulatory discretion for temporary special importation of certain products from Baxter facilities in Ireland and Australia to help support product supply for the U.S. market.
“While these actions will help mitigate some of the projected shortfall in supply, they will not be adequate to fully bridge the gap in the near term,” Baxter warned.
“Baxter will continue to do everything it can to ramp up production in Puerto Rico in the weeks ahead and, with the support of special importation granting from FDA, continue to utilize its other facilities to help address product demand in the United States,” it added.
Baxter has more than 2,000 employees in Puerto Rico, a majority of which have returned to work.
Baxter is helping employees procure necessities such as gas, food, water and toiletries, and coordinated multiple daily flights in the hurricane’s immediate aftermath to transport more than 25,000 pounds of needed supplies for employees.
Additionally, the company has established the Baxter Employee Disaster Relief Fund, where 100 percent of all employee contributions will go to assisting colleagues in need.
“The devastation of Hurricane María is heartbreaking and tragic,” said José (Joe) E. Almeida, Baxter CEO.
“I met recently with many of our dedicated employees in Puerto Rico, and I am both inspired and humbled by their commitment to our mission, our patients, their communities and each other in the face of the unimaginable damage and loss they’ve experienced,” he said. “Our mission to save and sustain lives calls on us to give back in times of crisis; Puerto Rico has our support.”