Novartis has Announced a Commitment to Donate up to 130 Million Doses of Hydroxychloroquine
Novartis has announced its commitment to donate up to 130 million doses of generic hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to support the global COVID-19 pandemic response. Hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, are currently under evaluation in clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. Novartis is supporting ongoing clinical trial efforts, and will evaluate needs for additional clinical trials. HCQ is an antimalarial medicine licensed in Ireland for arthritis, discoid and systemic lupus erythematosus, and dermatological conditions caused or aggravated by sunlight.
If regulatory authorities support the use of HCQ in COVID-19 infected patients, Novartis stands ready to donate HCQ on humanitarian grounds. Novartis manufactures HCQ at its Sandoz unit in the United States. Novartis does not currently manufacture hydroxychloroquine in Ireland. The company is also exploring further scaling of capacity to increase supply and are committed to working with manufacturers around the world to meet global demand.
27th March 2020
Novartis in Ireland statement on COVID-19, our ways of working and our supply chain
As a healthcare company, Novartis is committed to playing an active and responsible role in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) within our community, and amongst our employees and families.
As such, we have taken a number of measures that we believe will allow us to continue to support the Government and the HSE and those patients that depend on us, but in a way that reduces any potential spread of the virus.
From mid-March, the majority of Novartis employees in Ireland have where possible been working from home. This includes office and field based employees, however some colleagues cannot work remotely, including our Novartis Nurse Service, which supports patients with certain conditions every day and continues to support those patients as necessary, while our Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturing operations in Cork continues to make medicines for our patients around the world.
So whether you are working from home or continuing to come to work, we want to thank all employees for their engagement, dedication and commitment to patients.
Our priorities in this ever changing environment are to ensure the continued supply of medicines to patients and to protect the health and safety of our employees. We thank our customers and stakeholders for working with us to achieve these aims.
As Novartis continues to closely monitor the coronavirus situation, our priorities are the supply of our medicines to patients, and the health and safety of our associates. Novartis continues to deliver its medicines to patients and healthcare providers around the world and does not anticipate supply chain disruption for the majority of its portfolio at this time given strong mitigation measures and inventory levels.
We are doing our best to ensure supply continuity, however, the situation is very dynamic and there are aspects that are beyond any one manufacturer’s control. We remain fully committed to transparently sharing updates with our customers should there be any disruption.
Research & Development
In response to an urgent call for research and development on coronavirus, issued by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), Novartis has expressed its willingness to contribute to this important effort by making available a set of compounds from our libraries that we consider suitable for in vitro antiviral testing. In addition, we are evaluating our existing products to see if any could be repurposed beyond their approved indications.
Novartis remains responsive to any developments regarding coronavirus and will take all necessary steps to protect its associates and patients as the situation evolves.