The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) has launched the latest in a series of videos highlighting the research-based biopharmaceutical industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new video is focused on efforts by eight biopharmaceutical companies to work with charities, patient advocacy groups, hospitals, and the health authorities in helping to strengthen the country’s response to the pandemic.
In the video, company voices cite examples of their responses including donating funding, supplements and supplies to charities and care facilities, educating patients on self-care management, volunteering for contact tracing, and supporting voluntary and community initiatives.
The video, shot in montage style with user-generated content, is the latest in IPHA’s COVID-19 response series. Others have included a video highlighting companies’ efforts to continue manufacturing and supplying critical medicines for patients worldwide. Earlier, IPHA produced a montage of voices from 16 companies outlining the overall industry response across research for vaccines and treatments, manufacturing and supply chain continuity, and partnerships and supports.
The biopharmaceutical industry’s response to COVID-19 can be split into three key areas:
- Science: conducting collaborative research to find vaccines and treatments that can prevent or cure the disease.
- Supply: keeping manufacturing sites operating and ensuring the integrity of the supply chain so that patients get their medicines.
- Supports: donating funding, expertise, treatments and time to charities, hospitals, patient advocacy groups, voluntary organisations and the health authorities.
Bernard Mallee, Director of Communications and Advocacy at IPHA, said the latest video, focused on partnerships and supports, tries to capture some of the response by the biopharmaceutical to COVID-19.
“Beyond making and supplying medicines and searching for vaccines and treatments, Ireland’s biopharmaceutical industry is doing really important work to help the country to come through the pandemic,” said Mr Mallee. “It is partnering with hospitals, charities, patient advocacy groups and the health authorities on the effort to beat COVID-19. Whether in the form of financial donations, equipment, treatments, expertise or time, companies’ contributions are making a real difference. This is social purpose at a time when we all need it most,” he added.
The video features contributions from Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, Ipsen, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Reckitt Benckiser and Roche.
- Bayer is donating energy supplements to frontline healthcare workers and partnering with the Irish Heart Foundation on a follow-up service for stroke patients.
- Boehringer Ingelheim is making immediate impact funding available to charity partners and giving employees 10 days paid leave for voluntary relief efforts.
- Eli Lilly is donating Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to local hospitals, nursing homes and community care facilities in Cork, as well as helping local charity and voluntary fundraising efforts.
- Ipsen is providing resources to help cancer patients manage their own care at home, as well as providing practical support to hospitals and charities.
- Johnson & Johnson is working with the South/South-West Hospital Group on a return-to-normal-care plan that could help some 300,000 patients.
- Novartis is funding the purchase of PPE and helping to move the administration of some medicines from hospitals to patients’ homes.
- Reckitt Benckiser has donated 40,000 anti-bacterial products to the HSE for distribution to hospitals and nursing homes nationwide.
- Roche employees are volunteering as contact tracers, as well as supplying PPE to local hospitals.
Audrey Derveloy, General Manager at Novartis, said: “In this time of crisis, Novartis is proud to be able to support the healthcare system and organisations that are working with at-risk patient populations. As one of the leaders in the healthcare industry in Ireland, we want to practically support the healthcare service. We hope this will help those who are working tirelessly to support our communities during this critical time. It is important to take this opportunity to thank all of our team across Novartis Ireland who continue to make medicines, supporting our patients and our business during these challenging times. We have employees working at our manufacturing site in Cork and many working from home across the country. We would like to say how proud we are of all your efforts and your continued commitment.”
Linda Caulfield, National Sales Manager at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “Community spirit is something we care deeply about at Boehringer Ingelheim. During times like these, it is needed more than ever. We wanted to empower our people and support the strong desire among our employees to provide COVID-19 relief efforts both within the health service and in their local communities. We wanted to ensure that the charity partners we work with are well equipped to handle the operational challenges this pandemic presents.”
William O’Brien, Country Manager at Reckitt Benckiser, said: “We want to extend our warmest and heartfelt thanks to all of those who have been working extremely hard, for exceptionally long hours, under extremely challenging circumstances to protect the nation against this virus and save lives. We are delighted to provide extra support to the HSE at this time and we hope that this will help the HSE in fighting the pandemic in Ireland. I know everyone at RB feels privileged and indeed proud to work for a company that is playing its part, however small, in this fight.”
Tomás Stack, a Hospital Sales Representative at Roche, said: “At Roche, we are encouraged to volunteer during this time of national crisis. I am working with the HSE as a contact tracing volunteer. I have been able to take time off work to do that. Volunteering in this capacity lets me help with national efforts to manage the COVID-19 outbreak in a way that has more impact than my day-to-day role.”
To watch the ‘Partnerships and Supports’ video see https://youtu.be/SfFqwNtDP04.