COVID-19 and AAM - FAQ's and resources from the U.S. generics and biosimilars industry.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is disrupting everyday life around the world and imposing unprecedented stress on our health care system. Here are responses to frequently asked questions, from the perspective of the U.S. generics and biosimilars industry.
Read more in a blog series from AAM Interim CEO Jeff Francer:
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most reliable sources on the U.S. response to coronavirus?
Please follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and its preparedness recommendations. Additionally, AARP provides information for older Americans, and Kaiser Health News and STAT offer specialized health reporting that the layperson can understand.
Should I fill up my prescription drugs?
Yes. Consumer Reports recommends: “Ask your doctor for a 90-day prescription and consider getting it delivered through the mail, which can save money and eliminate regular trips to the drugstore—where you might encounter people who are sick. Be sure to also ask your insurer if your plan offers coverage for an extended-day supply.” Note that while the wait at the pharmacy may be longer and demand for mail order prescriptions has increased, patients are currently able to access the generic medicines they need.
How is the generic pharmaceutical industry responding?
AAM and its members are committed to meeting the health care needs of America’s patients. This includes working around the clock to ensure that health care workers on the front lines and pharmacies across the country are able to provide the medicines patients need. Teva is immediately donating 6 million hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to U.S. hospitals by March 31 to meet the urgent demand for the medicine as an investigational target to treat COVID-19. Member companies are partnering with health organizations and governments around the world to evaluate the use of currently available generic medicines for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. AAM will continue to work with our companies, government regulators and other stakeholders to ensure a steady supply of generic and biosimilar medicines during this public health emergency. Reuters has reported on research into whether existing generic drugs can be used to help treat the illness caused by the new coronavirus. We stand prepared to be of assistance.
How are AAM’s associate members and partner organizations in the nonprofit sector responding?
Direct Relief is providing personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers and delivering protective masks, exam gloves and isolation gowns to health care organizations in areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Fight the Fakes is heightening public awareness about criminals “capitaliz[ing] on people’s fears by advertising falsified treatments and vaccines and spreading rumours of potential cures.”
Dispensary of Hope began planning for supply chain interruptions several weeks ago, putting mechanisms in place in advance to assure a stocked product supply; supply chain impact research and contingency planning; and cross-training of essential functions for redundancy. "We are deeply grateful for the generous and long-standing support of AAM's member companies," says Scott Cornwell, the organization's Chief Supply Chain Officer.
Updates and resources from Healthcare Ready, which works with public and private sectors to strengthen systems before, during and after disasters--may also be useful.
What is the long-term outlook for the pandemic?
The National Institutes of Health and others are working to develop innovative vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. As more research is done, the CDC will continue to be an excellent source for the latest guidelines on the clinical treatment and care for COVID-19. The pandemic is presenting the global health community with new challenges. Depending on the duration and scope, shortages could become an issue. We believe that a coordinated effort from government and industry may be necessary to diversify the pharmaceutical supply chain and therefore to mitigate risks that might befall one country or region.
Resources for Patients
National Institutes of Health
World Health Organization