Fresenius Medical Care North America is part of Fresenius Medical Care, one of the world's largest, integrated providers of products and services for individuals with chronic kidney failure, a condition that affects more than 1.5 million individuals worldwide. Through its network of over 2,220 dialysis clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatment to 172,227 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the world's largest provider of dialysis products, such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Fresenius Medical Care can trace its roots back to 1462, when The Fresenius family assumed ownership of Hirsch Pharmacy in Frankfurt, Germany. Approximately two-thirds of the company's research and development activities are based in Germany and one-third in North America. The company holds rights to more than 1,100 patents and patent applications relating to dialysis technology in major markets and own trademarks throughout the world.