Sandra Gaisch-Hiller

Sandra is a Senior Public Affairs & Market Access professional with over 16 years of experience in working in European Government Affairs, Patient Advocacy & Market Access areas in the pharmaceutical & medical device industry.

Since Oct 2015 she is with Baxter where she is leading the Government Policy, Advocacy & Reimbursement for the EMEA Region. Prior to joining Baxter, Sandra headed up Hospira’s Government Affairs team in EMEA, and held various roles of increasing responsibility in EU Government Affairs for GSK, Novartis and Sandoz.

She has worked across a broad range of therapeutic areas in renal replacement & acute therapies, clinical nutrition, biosimilars, vaccines, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, & EU institutional and national government engagement, and increasingly health economic evidence and value creation.

Providing health services in the community offers benefits to patients and can be more efficient for health systems. This was true long before any of us had heard of COVID-19, but the pandemic has highlighted the need to provide safe and effective community and home care for vulnerable patients, like those suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD) and needing kidney replacement therapy (KRT ). By 2030, if no action is taken, the number of CKD patients could reach 14.5 million . This imposes a heavy burden on patients and their families, but also translates into significant costs for health systems: treatment for CKD accounts for 2% of many countries' healthcare budgets. While investing in preventative measures and research for kidney disease is important, we also need to provide all treatment options as part of the continuum of care to allow patients to live well with CKD. Our goal should be to embrace a shared decision-making approach and take advantage of the new opportunities provided by digital solutions for remote treatment and patient support, particularly in the context of COVID-19. This concept is reflected in the theme of this year's World Kidney Day : Health for Everyone Everywhere: Living Well with Kidney Disease. COVID-19 risk factors Research shows that CKD is one of the most prevalent risk factors for severe COVID-19 . In light of this, the European Kidney Health Alliance has issued a Call to Action supported by the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, and endorsed by 20 Members of the European Parliament and 69 scientific & patient organisations from across Europe. It demands better access to home therapies, transplantation and the uptake of digital tools, as well as better prevention, research, collection and sharing of CKD data. The European Commission's Expert Panel on Resilient Health & Social Care...