BAYER Malaysia has played an effective role in helping Malaysians from all walks of life to navigate and stay healthy throughout the Covid-19 health crisis.
While every organisation has its own response to tackling the pandemic, Bayer’s approach is anchored in its company vision ‘Health For All, Hunger For None’.
“Our primary priorities are keeping our employees safe and healthy, as well as keeping our pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science operations running, so that patients and customers can continue to rely on our products to serve their health and nutritional needs,” said Leong Sook Fun, managing director of Bayer Co (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
“Covid-19 has exposed the fragility of the networks that secure our healthcare and food supply – locally, nationally and globally.
“We kept life-saving medicines available for patients who count on us, supplied self-care solutions to keep consumers healthy and kept a health crisis from becoming a food crisis by securing agricultural supplies, whilst at the same ensuring the health and safety of our employees,” she shared.
She added, “In ensuring business continuity, we were guided to act now to protect and operate the business today and plan now to transform the business for the future.”
The company adapted its business operations and achieved its targets by:
> Ensuring its employees have the right tools of trade to work remotely and continue being able to do what they do best
> As the movement control order (MCO) restrictions put a halt to travelling and in-person meetings, they pivoted to technology to engage with healthcare professionals, farmers and customers
> Accelerated e-commerce and scaled up digital capabilities and engagements to expand consumer access to its self-care solutions
The company also adapted its strategy and operations, in accordance with the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs), to meet the needs of patients, healthcare professionals, farmers, customers and consumers who depend on its products.
“We can proudly say that during the pandemic, we successfully kept our business operations running and fulfilled our obligations to our employees and customers,” she said.
During the pandemic, the company managed to launch new products and initiatives to safeguard the health of Malaysians, including launching a new innovative treatment for patients with peripheral artery disease, as well as the Redoxon Triple Action Effervescent, an upgraded formulation from the bestselling Redoxon Double Action with added Vitamin D for immune support function.
It also supported Endometriosis Association of Malaysia (MyEndosis) with the launch of a public website to drive awareness for endometriosis and encourage women suffering from this condition to seek early medical help; in addition to a collaboration with Doc2Us to introduce Malaysia’s first tele-pharmacy on family planning to address the high unmet need of unplanned pregnancies in the country, especially during the lockdown.
Recently, Bayer Malaysia was honoured the bronze award in the HR Excellence Awards 2021 for ‘Excellence in Covid-19 Response’. The award recognises outstanding strategic responses to managing the impacts of Covid-19 on the workforce including sound decision making, risk assessment and ongoing communication with employees.
On its effective roles, Leong explained, “Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Bayer did several collaborations in our efforts to support Malaysians and be there for them when they need us the most.
“We contributed Redoxon and Berocca care packages, as well as donations to purchase personal protective equipment for our tireless healthcare frontliners, who put themselves on the line to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic in our country.
“We also partnered with Malaysian Airlines by providing passengers with complimentary inflight Redoxon samples in a bid to safeguard the health of its passengers and crew.”
In an effort to encourage Malaysians to get vaccinated, Bayer collaborated with the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply (JKJAV) as a supporting partner to help drive awareness, education and advocacy to boost vaccine acceptance among Malaysians.
Moreover, together with Rise Against Hunger, the company provided food packs to the Orang Asli communities whose livelihoods were impacted by MCO lockdowns. More than 2,700 Orang Asli benefited from the food packs initiative.
On how Bayer Malaysia implemented sustainability initiatives in its business and operations, Leong said, “Sustainability is central to our strategy and operations, enabling us to generate a positive impact for society and the planet through our business. We aim to achieve lasting commercial success by connecting economic growth with ecological and social responsibility.”
By 2030, Bayer AG aims to:
> Support 100 million small-holder farmers by giving them access to innovations, knowledge and partnerships
> Enable responsible family planning for 100 million women in low- and medium-income countries
> Give 100 million people in underserved communities improved access to everyday healthcare products
“As a globally operating company with leading businesses in health and nutrition, we address fundamental human needs that are essential for a sustainable and inclusive world,” she stressed.
An example is Bayer’s sustainability initiative for smallholder farmers (SHF). 80% of smallholder farmers in the world are in Asia Pacific. The focus is to improve SHF access to agronomic expertise, products and services through collaborations and partnerships with research institutions, start-ups, companies and NGOs.
She added, “We are promoting farmers’ adoption of digital farming not only for them to learn about drone technology, but also the importance of the user data and precision farming for sustainable agriculture.”
Bayer celebrates its 50th anniversary in Malaysia
Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by providing access to its innovative medicines to Malaysians, including the public sector.
She said, “We will continue to drive change and growth for all our businesses, living up to our vision of “Health for All, Hunger for None” for Malaysians.
“We will continue to bring to Malaysians innovative treatments from our research and development pipeline beyond the pandemic, especially in therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs.”
“These innovative treatments have changed the way diseases are treated and offer hope to patients who have limited or no other options – treatments that address the unmet medical needs of liver cancer patients, offers advanced colorectal cancer patients a precious gift of time, prevented atrial fibrillation patients from stroke, help improve outcomes of vision loss in the working-age and elderly patients suffering from serious ophthalmologic condition and protected women from unplanned pregnancies, just to name a few.
At the same time, as a leader in agriculture, Bayer will continue to support farmers with products, tools and solutions to generate better harvests using less resources.
“We have been supporting the Government’s efforts to increase self-sufficiency in rice with modern and state-of-the-art rice farming management and technology to boost rice yield and increase income of paddy farmers,” she said.
In 2014, Bayer collaborated with Sarawak’s Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture and the Sarawak’s Department of Agriculture to introduce the country’s first pilot project on hybrid rice planting in Sarawak.
The collaboration worked towards increasing the state’s rice self-sufficiency level, leveraging on Bayer’s technological know-how to maximise the potential of hybrid rice varieties for the rice industry in Sarawak.
By providing access to more innovations, knowledge partnerships and new business models, it seeks to give farmers in Malaysia better choices, improve their wellbeing, as well as provide them with solutions to grow crops more sustainably, to increase their yields and their incomes.
“We are committed to ensuring that everyday health is always within reach by ensuring Malaysians have access to vitamins and micronutrients through our products. We will continue to use digital solutions to empower more people to take charge and manage their everyday health.
“With our clear focus on innovation and growth and our strategic alignment along our core activities in health care and nutrition, we are committed to further drive progress in Malaysia and improve quality of life for as many Malaysians as possible,” she concluded.