Novartis has recently formed a new initiative to assist the COVID-19 patients in low- and lower-middle-income countries by providing access to affordable medicines. These medicines can be used to treat major COVID-19 symptoms.
The step is highly crucial due to the unavailability of a curative treatment or vaccine. Respiratory and inflammatory problems linked to the COVID-19 disease can lead to severe medical complications and the occasional death of the patients.
The company’s COVID-19 portfolio consists of 15 medicines from the Sandoz division to treat septic shock, pneumonia, acute respiratory symptoms, as well as gastro-intestinal illness. The medicines included in the COVID-19 Response Portfolio are Vancomycin, Salbutamol, Prednisolone, Prednisone, Pantoprazole, Loperamide, Levofloxacin, Heparin, Fluconazole, Dobutamine, Dexamethasone, Colchicine, Clarithromycin, Ceftriaxone, and Amoxicillin. These medicines have been selected as per the availability and clinical relevance to meet the maximum demand globally.
This portfolio will be delivered in addition to the company’s access portfolio, including on- & off-patent medicines for treatment against the key communicable diseases, through the local Novartis or the Sandoz affiliate.
In order to support the financially strained healthcare settings, the medicines will be delivered to governments, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), and institutional customers in over 79 eligible countries at no profits. Eligible countries are provided the flexibility to select any medicine in the portfolio to meet their healthcare needs. These countries must be included in the World Bank’s list of LMICs and LICs.
This COVID-19 medicine portfolio can be considered as the company’s major contribution to fight the pandemic and ensure the stability of the healthcare systems. Additionally, the company is planning to donate $40 million and support the global communities that are impacted by the outbreak. It has also been active in 2 cross-industry research initiatives. These initiatives are the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator that is coordinated by Wellcome, Mastercard, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as a directed partnership organized by the IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative). It is also separately offering support to the coronavirus-related clinical trials of many of its medicines.