Bayer Thai: 60 years of delivering innovation, sustainability Leave a comment

For six decades Bayer Thai Co Ltd has applied its core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and nutrition to help shape a better quality of life for all Thais.

JinA Lee, managing director of Bayer Thai and general manager of the Pharmaceuticals Division, reflects on the company’s proud legacy and shares exciting future plans ahead.

“Looking back, I am proud of how far and how much Bayer Thai has achieved making lives better for our farmers, healthcare professionals, customers, partners, and communities,” she told the Bangkok Post. “And now, with our vision ‘Health for all, hunger for none’, I look forward to the future where we can deliver innovative treatments and better nutrition to transform the health of all Thais while promoting sustainable growth.”

The managing director said that all three key divisions at Bayer Thai — pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science — have lived its purpose “Science for A Better Life” and contributed to advancing Thailand’s healthcare and agriculture sectors.

Mr Mak points out that the ultimate goal for his division is to help encourage consumers to think beyond conventional definitions of health and wellness and take control of their personal health.

– Healthy ageing –

As for the pharmaceuticals division, Ms Lee said the company’s portfolio of innovative medicines addresses the unmet medical needs of Thailand’s growing and ageing population by tackling difficult-to-treat medical conditions such as cancer, stroke, thrombosis and age- and diabetes-related eye diseases.

According to United Nations statistics, the average life expectancy at birth of the Thai population is now 74 years old. There was a drastic increase from 52 years old when Bayer Thai was established in 1962.

Ms Lee said that challenges that often accompany an ageing population are an increased susceptibility to chronic diseases, disability and dependency. These then contribute to a growing healthcare demand to cure many non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, all of which have long been major health threats for seniors and represent a significant burden on the national health system.

As a result, Bayer has used cutting-edge technologies to implement several innovative therapies for cardiovascular diseases and the long-term prevention of stroke, heart attack and other serious cardiovascular events.

The company also focuses its scientific research on eye diseases due to ageing and diabetes as well as therapies on several types of cancers that have impacted upon Thai patients, including liver cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. The company’s radiology solutions provide physicians with enhanced diagnostic accuracy so that treatments can be applied earlier and more effectively.

In addition to the ageing population, Bayer pays close attention to women’s health and prides itself as a pioneer in contraception and gynecology, including endometriosis.

Ms Lee explained why Bayer is committed to addressing the needs of patients and physicians.

“Better treatments and improved survival mean people live longer and healthier, enabling them to return to their usual daily routines, resume work and spend their times with their families,” she said.

Bayer Thai is ranked among the top 10 best performing multinational pharmaceutical companies in the kingdom.

Mr Weraphon explains that Bayer aims to help uplift the overall status of smallholder farmers who play an important role in addressing the challenges of food security.

– Taking charge of personal health –

“The pandemic has caused consumers to think differently about our health. The importance of being healthy has never been more apparent. We have seen that people are increasingly health-conscious and aware of the impact of individual lifestyle choices on their health and the health of others,” said Thai Peng Mak, general manager of Bayer Thai’s consumer health division for Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

As a life science company, Bayer uses science to empower people to manage their health needs and take care of their personal health from its products. The Consumer Health product portfolio in Thailand includes non-prescription products (over the counter) in the areas of dermatology, nutritional and allergy. “For example, our Bepanthen brand has helped parents to take care of their kids for more than 75 years globally and 19 years in Thailand,” he said. “We are working to make personal health more effective, more sustainable, more accessible, and well, more personal.”

Mr Mak added that the goal for his division is to “empower the transformation of everyday health”. This is to help encourage consumers to think beyond conventional definitions of health and wellness and take control of their personal health — whatever that might look like.

Bayer Thai not only provides products over the counter and online from its official stores, but also resources and knowledge about how to improve everyday health to consumers. Helpful information and learning tools are available through Bayer Thai product brand websites and Facebook accounts.

“We combine scientific expertise with world-class brands and adapt to changing consumer needs and societal trends. That’s why Thai consumers have confidence in our products and continue to support us,” said Mr Mak.

The recent donation of Bepanthen Sensiderm is part of Bayer Thai’s goal to make a positive impact on society and consumers.

– Hunger for none –

In addition to using medication to maintain one’s health, diet and proper nutrition are also crucial factors attributing to a better quality of life. Bayer Crop Science division focuses on seeds, crop protection, and non-agricultural pest control products.

Weraphon Charoenpanit, country commercial lead of the crop science division for Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, said the company contributes greatly to innovations that will help increase agricultural productivity with quality and efficiency. With changing climate conditions, drought and floods are factors farmers cannot control, said Mr Weraphon.

“Farming needs to transform through the use of both innovation and agricultural technology to provide farmers with good agricultural products,” he said. “Bayer improves opportunities for both large and smallholder farmers to access those technologies and processes, which include precision agriculture using drones to spray chemicals, as well as guiding farmers through the Bay GAP [good agricultural practice] programme,” he said.

Mr Weraphon explained that the Bay GAP is Bayer’s training programme aiming to transfer the most relevant knowledge to farmers and get them ready to pass the Thai GAP assessment. This also helps promote the competitiveness of Thai farmers in the export market and enhance the safety of farmers and users.

Better Farms, Better Lives initiative by Crop Science Division.

– Innovation in agriculture –

Bayer Thai has a production site in Bangpoo Industrial Estate, Samut Prakan, which houses various formulation lines and filling lines for Bayer products such as crop protection and environmental science products. The company also has a research centre in Suphan Buri. The Agri-Solution Research Center focuses on improving food production.

Bayer Thai has four additional high-quality seed production sites to provide agricultural solutions for domestic and export markets.

These include production sites in Phitsanulok for corn seeds for animals under the DeKalb brand, while the Khon Kaen and Sakon Nakhon locations focus on agricultural vegetable seeds including tomato, pepper and eggplant under the Seminis and De Ruiter brands. There is also a Chiang Rai research centre for vegetable seeds.

– Compassion drives sustainable growth –

When asked what drives Bayer Thai’s breakthrough development and high performance over the past six decades, especially over the past two years when many people’s health has been at risk because of the raging pandemic, Ms Lee said the key lies in the compassion and investment that the company puts into its employees and Thai society.

“Our top priority has always been the safety and well-being of our employees. We set strong measures to protect our employees as well as our customers during the pandemic,” Ms Lee said.

As a good corporate citizen, Bayer Thai’s social commitment is illustrated by our sustainability-oriented activities in the areas of science, education, health, social needs and community projects implemented in Thailand.

Better Science for Better Life project to promote science learning.

– Covid-19 relief efforts –

Bayer Thai’s Pharmaceuticals Division donated a total of 2 million baht at the height of the pandemic in 2020 to frontline healthcare professionals and four hospitals through its NGO partners — Ramathibodi Hospital, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Siriraj Hospital and Thammasat University Field Hospital — to help them procure essential medical supplies and personal protective equipment.

As for the Consumer Health division, Bayer Thai donated an anti-itch and skin-soothing Bepanthen Sensiderm cream to healthcare professionals experiencing skin reactions from long hours of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and frequent use of hand hygiene and sanitiser.

Through the “Better Farms, Better Lives” initiative by Bayer Thai’s Crop Science division, 20 million baht’s worth of starter kits including PPE, crop protection products and related training were provided to 50,000 smallholder farmers along the Chao Phraya River Basin in Pathum Thani, Suphan Buri, Phitsanulok as well as nearby areas in 26 provinces.

Ms Lee says that all three key divisions at Bayer Thai – pharmaceuticals, consumer health, and crop science – have demonstrated strong scientific leadership and play a major role in advancing Thailand’s healthcare and agriculture sectors.

Bangpoo Product Supply Site provided its monetary support to the Thai Red Cross Rehabilitation Center Sawangkaniwas in Samut Prakan province where its product supply site operates.

In addition to Covid-19 relief efforts, the company continues its ongoing societal engagement activities in the areas of science and health. Through its partnership with the National Science Museum, the Better Science for Better Life project has been implemented since 2008 in order to support and encourage science learning targeted at young students.

Recently, Bayer Thai collaborated with the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT) and organised digital educational activities on social media platforms. The initiative creates an inclusive and comfortable atmosphere for teenagers to ask as well as learn accurate information about reproductive health and proper family planning from medical experts.

– Future innovation –

Ms Lee summarised the importance and goals of Bayer Thai’s operations, especially during these trying times.

“We ensure our medicines are available for patients who count on us. We ensure our self-care solutions to keep consumers healthy when it was needed most, and we ensure sufficient agricultural supplies to help with food security,” she said.

Ms Lee said that all three divisions — pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science — of Bayer Thai have proven their agility and resilience to adapt to a new way of working to meet customer demand as the company embarked on a digital journey to transform its capability to engage with its stakeholders, healthcare professionals, patients, farmers and customers.

“Our activities have been shifted from on-group to online. Examples can be seen from our social media platforms as well as e-commerce platforms. The pandemic has accelerated a number of trends, meaning that we need to execute our strategy and implement it at a faster pace,” she said.

“We are determined to continue delivering innovations in areas of healthcare and nutrition to help achieve a better life for the Thai people. All these won’t be possible without the commitment and dedication of all our employees whom we are all very proud of. We are also grateful to the support we have received from all our partners over the years. I am optimistic that we will build further from these achievements over the decades to come to fulfil Bayer’s vision of ‘Health for all, hunger for none’.”


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