Press Release

America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies are Supporting Italy During the Coronavirus Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2020) – America’s biopharmaceutical companies stand with everyone affected by the coronavirus throughout Italy, one of the hardest hit countries, and patients around the world. 

“America’s biopharmaceutical companies are united in helping to fight the coronavirus epidemic globally,” said Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chairman of the PhRMA board of directors and chairman and CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We support and commend the health care professionals and scientists fighting on the front lines of the global pandemic.”

In addition to applying scientific expertise to find ways to diagnose, treat and prevent infections from the virus, the biopharmaceutical industry is providing financial support and in-kind donations to organizations and collaborating with global health authorities to combat this public health emergency. 

“Our industry will continue to do everything we can to beat this virus as quickly and safely as possible,” added Stephen J. Ubl, president and chief executive officer of PhRMA. “We are committed to developing solutions to help diagnose and treat those with COVID-19.” 

Within Italy, biopharmaceutical companies are donating medicine, supplies and other expertise. Specific company examples include:

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb contributed $1 million to the Red Cross in the Lombardy Region of Italy and donated face masks to local health care facilities.
  • Gilead has initiated two clinical trials in patients who have been infected with COVID-19 to determine the safety and efficacy of remdesivir as a potential treatment for the coronavirus.
  • The Lilly Italia Foundation is donating €1 million of insulin produced by Eli Lilly and Company.
  • Pfizer’s affiliate is donating €2.5 million worth of medicines and vaccines that can be used in the prevention and management of COVID-19 in impacted regions. Pfizer is also dedicating resources to ensure safe and timely home delivery of essential medicines for patients with life threatening and rare diseases, such as hemophilia.
  • Bayer is supporting hospitals in Lombardy, Italy, with a donation of €1 million that is helping procure urgently-needed equipment for intensive care units in hospitals with the greatest needs.
  • Novartis donated €1 million to the National Civil Protection in Campania, Italy.
  • Novo Nordisk offered direct financial support to hospitals most affected by the crisis. The company also set up an internal fundraising whereby the amount collected via the donations of employees will be doubled by the company and donated to the Italian Civil Protection Department. Additionally, Novo Nordisk sponsored an awareness campaign to provide basic information to the Italian elderly population on how they should respond during the coronavirus crisis and how to protect themselves against misinformation and fraud.
  • Sanofi is donating to support the National Civil Protection for the management of this emergency. The company also invited all employees in Italy to donate one hour or more of their work on a voluntary basis. Sanofi also donated €600,000. Additionally, Sanofi is ready to donate 200 thousand hydroxychloroquine-based treatments to the National Healthcare System, for Italian hospitals that will request them to treat patients with complications from COVID-19. In total, the company’s donations equal more than €2 million.

For more information about how PhRMA members are helping those affected by the coronavirus, please click here



About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $900 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $79.6 billion in 2018 alone.

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