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Abbott: A Healthcare Pioneer in Vietnam

Abbott develops local partnerships for long-term improvements to public healthcare.

What does it mean to be a truly global company?

For Abbott (No. 10 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list), it means developing a unique approach based on the needs in each individual market, and collaborating with local organizations to improve public healthcare and quality of life.

This is never more evident in Vietnam, an important and growing market Abbott first entered more than 20 years ago. In that time, the country has become an increasingly attractive destination for economic development with increased modernization and industrialization. In fact, in 2016, Vietnam had the second fastest growing GDP in Asia, behind China.

Along with changes to its economy, Vietnam's healthcare needs have also advanced. A growing middle class, an aging population and changes to healthcare policy in Vietnam have increased the demand for quality care for all ages.

Pioneering healthcare solutions

Abbott works with local stakeholders, including governments, to anticipate and stay ahead of the country's unique healthcare challenges. In November, Abbott participated in the APEC Summit to discuss key issues such as innovation in healthcare, healthy aging and enhanced food safety, further underscoring the company's commitment to advancing healthcare in the region.

Abbott has also formed strategic partnerships with the Departments of Vietnam Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The company's support on MOH and APEC health initiatives (including food safety, maternal health, and clinical nutrition) led the MOH to grant Abbott an MOH Award recognizing the company's contributions in Vietnam.

Abbott's commitment to Vietnam

To understand, Abbott's impact to healthcare in Vietnam, it's important to understand some of the key projects and partnerships the Company has embarked on in recent years. Here are a few of its most important areas of focus:

  • Promoting maternal nutrition: Abbott partnered with the Maternal and Child Health Department of the MOH to establish national nutrition guidelines for pregnant women and lactating mothers as part of its partnership with the government. The project worked to combat high levels of stunting caused by nutritional deficiency in mothers during pregnancy and lactation in Vietnam.
  • Improving healthy aging: Abbott launched a series of initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the importance of dietary supplements for the elderly and encouraging individuals over the age of 50 to maintain active lifestyles. A survey sponsored by Abbott among seniors in Vietnam showed that 95 percent of people aged 50+ experience loss of strength, with malnutrition being a common issue and up to 78 percent of hospitalized adults being undernourished.
  • Advancing quality nutrition in hospitals: In 2016, Abbott partnered with the MOH to support the Ministry in improving the quality of clinical nutrition in hospitals. To-date, a quality improvement program has been implemented in a number of hospitals, bringing many tangible benefits for people annually.
  • Focusing on food safety: Abbott is supporting the MOH's National Institute for Food Control and its "Improving Food Safety Testing Capacity" agenda, which is aimed at facilitating the exchange of professional knowledge and expertise in food safety testing.

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Abbott announced that Japan's Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare (MHLW) granted national reimbursement for XIENCE Sierra™, the newest generation of the company's gold-standard XIENCE everolimus-eluting coronary stent. XIENCE Sierra improves upon previous versions of XIENCE with an enhanced stent design, a new delivery system, and unique sizes to help doctors treat challenging cases.

XIENCE Sierra was designed to help doctors more easily treat people with difficult-to-treat blockages that involve multiple or totally blocked arteries or complications such as diabetes. Complex cases are increasingly prevalent as people with coronary artery disease are living longer.

"Extensive clinical data and 10 years of real-world experience with the XIENCE family of stents provide doctors with confidence that they are treating their patients with one of the safest stents available," said Chuck Brynelsen, senior vice president of Abbott's vascular business. "National reimbursement of XIENCE Sierra will provide people in Japan with greater access to this life-changing technology that can help them live their best lives."

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease, which is the second leading cause of death in Japan. National reimbursement in Japan will enable doctors to treat more patients with XIENCE Sierra through the country's health insurance plans. XIENCE Sierra was approved in Japan on April 4, 2018, received CE Mark in Europe late last year, and is under review with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

XIENCE has been studied in over 100 clinical trials and in 10 years of global real-world experience. Its safety profile is unprecedented with consistent low rates of stent thrombosis, even in complex cases. More than eight million people worldwide have received a XIENCE stent since its initial regulatory approval.