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Science & innovation

Baxter’s diverse scientific expertise and world-class capabilities in key technical areas are critical components in advancing patient care globally.

Bioethics Position Statement

Responsible Use of Animals in Research and Testing

Baxter produces vital medical products that are used in the treatment of patients with chronic or critical illnesses throughout the world. Patients, their families and health care professionals rely on the safety and efficacy of our products—which are overseen by government health authorities and proven through clinical trials and the use of animals. The company is both ethically required to ensure the safety and efficacy of our products and legally required by health authorities throughout the world to use animals to develop and test its products. In doing so, we conduct our work in a manner that is humane and minimizes the number of animals used.

We are committed to the highest standards of animal care and welfare. Baxter's animal facilities and programs meet all local, national and transnational laws and regulations (as verified by regular inspections by those authorities/agencies), and are operated in accordance with relevant international guidelines, including:

Our animal facilities and programs are operated by licensed, certified and accredited veterinary professionals and are overseen by Animal Use and Care Committees or local authorities, which are required to include at least one independent (not affiliated with Baxter in any other way) representative. These teams not only oversee the care and welfare of animals used, but they also review and approve research and testing protocol to ensure that the minimum number of animals are used, that the information derived is essential and meaningful and that any pain and distress to the animals is minimized.

The animals that we use in research and testing are sourced only through special breeders or suppliers that our veterinary professionals carefully select and regularly monitor. We expect that any contract research organizations that we use follow similarly high standards for animal care and welfare, and Baxter's veterinary professionals carefully review and monitor these organizations to ensure compliance.

Further, we are committed to using and developing alternative protocols, methodologies and models which eliminate the use of or reduce the number of animals required for research and testing. While we may never be able to completely replace the use of animals, we hope that our efforts to refine and improve our research and testing methods will both minimize their use and maximize the positive impact that our products have on the health and welfare of people and animals worldwide.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)

Baxter Healthcare uses the latest developments and applications in the scientific field to innovate and discover new critical therapies. Some of our businesses routinely use standard, genetically modified organisms in research and development, manufacturing and quality control processes to develop recombinant proteins and vaccines. We are not involved in genetically modifying plants. All research and development with GMO is conducted under full risk assessment with highest conditions of safety concerning use, storage, containment, and appropriate disposal of waste or used materials.

Cloning and the Use of Fetal and Embryonic Tissue

Baxter recognizes and respects the intrinsic distinctiveness of human embryos. Any cell lines used by Baxter or under its direction will utilize cells derived from human adults or human cell lines that were obtained as a result of a confirmed, naturally occurring event negatively affecting the continued viability of the fetus. In the event that cell lines derived from sources other than those described above are the only option for a safe and effective therapy such as the production of recombinant proteins, vaccines, and related products, Baxter's Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Executive Officer must evaluate and unanimously affirm the use of such cell line. In making the decision, the Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Executive Officer must give consideration to the following criteria:

  • Viability of alternative technologies or alternative sources of cells
  • Potential benefits to be realized from such use
  • Probability of success for the proposed use
  • Compliance with Baxter's bioethics standard
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