Sandoz, the largest medicines provider in Europe and a major player globally, has a U.S. headquarters in Princeton, NJ. The Novartis division’s robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic has taken many forms:
Affordability. In early June, CEO Richard Saynor penned a LinkedIn post pledging:
I strongly feel the generics industry has a particular responsibility right now to ensure that patients can get the medicines they need. That’s why, despite current uncertainties about how the supply situation will evolve, Sandoz has committed to keep prices stable for certain essential medicines it markets commercially.Saynor specified that the pledge extended to Sandoz-produce antivirals that reduce the impact of coronavirus and antibiotics that combat pneumonia.
Manufacturing. To ensure reliability, quality and predictability, the company has expanded manufacturing capacity and devised workarounds such as finding alternative transport. Vice President of Communications Leslie Pott reports that the response is working. There have been some delays, she says, but no shortages.
By planning for contingencies and anticipating vulnerabilities,Pott explains,
Sandoz is able to maintain a fully integrated and global supply chain.
Education. Sandoz’s new webcast series disseminates knowledge and best practices related to the pandemic. Topics have included the Psychological burden of HCPs during COVID-19 pandemic, Learnings from Italian public health measures and patient management across gastroenterology, rheumatology and oncology. Rebecca Guntern, Head Region Europe at Sandoz, said the initiative was designed
to accelerate physicians’ exchange of their hands-on experience as promptly as possible, across specialty areas and country borders.
Tune in: COVID-19 Pandemic Sandoz Webseries
- Donations. Sandoz has made extensive donations of medicines for testing possible COVID treatments. In addition, it has converted some of its manufacturing sites to produce disinfectant and hand sanitizer for health institutions and care facilities and committed laboratory space for COVID-19 testing. Sandoz has also partnered with AAM associate member Direct Relief to deliver packages of critical medications and supplies for intensive care units.
By Jewel Smith, AAM's Director, Operations