Novartis has been responding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with safety of associates and patients globally as our primary concern. We have been also contributing to research efforts, supporting communities and ensuring stable supply and price of essential medicines. Our response has been guided by the Novartis Commitment to Patients and Caregivers.
Vaccine production and collaborating with partners
By leveraging our production facilities we've supported the global supply of vaccines and therapeutics. Novartis has partnered with multistakeholder consortia, including the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, coordinated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and Master-card, as well as a partnership supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative. We have been participating with the University of California, Berkeley, and other pharmaceutical companies to develop an antiviral molecule to potentially treat all coronaviruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19.
We have played our part in the scientific efforts to find treatments for COVID-19. We quickly designed and launched three Phase 3, placebo-controlled trials to determine if our products could help patients with certain COVID-19-related symptoms. We provided these and other medicines to investigator-initiated trials and managed access programs upon request. Novartis collaborated also with Molecular Partners on the development of a new class of custom-built therapies, designed specifically to inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19.
Access and pricing commitments
Novartis had made 15 drugs that treat key symptoms of COVID-19 available to low-income and lowermiddle- income countries at zero profit until a vaccine or curative treatment was available.
Novartis committed to donating up to USD 40 million to support communities around the world impacted by the pandemic. This included the Novartis COVID-19 Response Fund and a US COVID- 19 Community Response Fund, established by Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation, that provided cash and in-kind donations for immediate response and recovery eorts related to the pandemic in the US.
Supporting our associates
We took steps to support our associates and their families as they adapted to new conditions and commitments such as working remotely, educating children at home, and caring for loved ones. We provided additional paid leave and enhanced childcare support for associates in critical roles who needed to be on site. We announced a new global policy to give office-based associates more flexibility to choose how, where and when they work.
Novartis CEO says Covid likely to become endemic, urges investment in pandemic preparedness
The chief executive of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis in early 2023 warned the coronavirus pandemic will likely settle into an endemic phase and renewed calls for policymakers to sufficiently finance pandemic preparedness.