As the scientific community continues to learn more and advance the science behind COVID-19, Novartis is responding to the situation with the safety of our associates and patients we serve as our main concern.
In the US we have launched a number of efforts designed to support those closely on the front-lines as well as help further the science and potential treatments for this pandemic:
Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation established the US COVID-19 Community Response Fund to support local initiatives and communities in the US impacted by the outbreak. In total, the Fund has provided cash and in-kind donations totaling USD 5 million for immediate response and recovery efforts related to the pandemic. Click here to read more.
Announced plans to initiate a Phase III clinical trial in collaboration with Incyte to evaluate the use of Jakavi® (ruxolitinib) for treatment of a type of severe immune overreaction called cytokine storm that can lead to life-threatening respiratory complications in patients with COVID-19.
Announced that AveXis has joined AAVCOVID vaccine program from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. Click here to read more.
Recognizing that this current environment may interfere with patients and access to their HCPs or treatments, we are implementing flexible therapeutic access and support, where possible, for some of our most widely-used medicines (for example, free temporary supplies of certain medications to avoid treatment gaps, broader access to in-home onboarding and administration support, and extended fill co-pay card support).
Through our through its Long Island Operations, Fougera, we donated 27,000 units of hand sanitizer to support statewide first responders including hospitals, state agencies, nursing homes, nonprofit organizations and facilities. Click here to read more.
We recently announced that we have discontinued our hydroxychloroquine clinical trial based on slow enrollment; however, we remain committed to pandemic research efforts. Click here to read more.
Novartis has made several in-kind donations to hospitals, including two ventilators, nearly 1,000 masks, more than 10,000 pairs of gloves, 10,000 caps, and nearly 1,200 gowns/coveralls. More of our PPE supply will be donated to states where requests have been made.
As we continue to work through this pandemic, we are committed to making sure that our medicines are delivered to patients around the world, and while not all aspects of delivering medicines globally are in our control, we do not anticipate supply chain disruption at this time.
These US initiatives complement the larger global efforts that Novartis is leading including monetary funds and equipment donations, and overall contributions to R&D programs and collaborations. More information about the global Novartis response to COVID-19 is available on novartis.com/coronavirus.
Novartis is also committed to doing our part to help slow the spread of the disease, and in March have requested that all non-essential US-based associates work from home. The fact that more than 80,000 of our associates across the world are now logging in successfully from their homes is an outstanding testament to the IT team’s hard work.
We also recognize the impact that COVID-19 has had on our associates who, like so many, are juggling increased at-home responsibilities that were not part of the normal working day prior to the pandemic. To help we have increased our rich range of learning resources and extending access to these to family members:
Through our partnership with Coursera, associates can access over 3,800 courses from over 190 renowned global universities and industry leaders, in multiple languages. We’re now offering two additional Coursera licenses per family, so that partners and children can also benefit from these amazing online learning opportunities.
Another great resource for kids is Khan Academy. We’re proud to be helping this not-for-profit virtual home-schooling resource expand their reach and continue their important work, and by doing so take our commitment to learning to the broader society.
For employees in manufacturing, labs and other critical roles in countries where school and childcare have been closed, Novartis will provide childcare assistance support either in the form of access to special childcare facilities or reimbursement of personal childcare arrangements. In situations where it isn’t possible for an associate to work from home or this doesn’t allow them to perform their responsibilities as a caregiver, we’re also offering a global commitment of 12 days paid leave, in addition to vacation and personal time off.
Novartis is grateful our associates and their amazing resilience, positivity and adaptability they’ve shown under these unprecedented circumstances - the care and empathy they’ve shown for one another, as well as their outstanding commitment to continue the vital work of delivering life-saving medicine to our patients.