Pfizer recognizes the public concern in relation to the current situation, which continues to evolve. We are committed to doing all we can to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and have taken proactive steps to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues, maintain supply of our medicines to patients and help halt the spread of this disease.
The safety of our colleagues around the globe is paramount. We are taking appropriate steps to protect our colleagues and contractors, following all local government requirements and continuously monitoring the situation to provide appropriate guidance on work attendance, travel and personal protection and hygiene. This is important for the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, our patients, our customers, and our community.
Our Manufacturing and Supply Chain
Pfizer consistently and diligently monitors the supply of our medicines. We operate one of the most sophisticated supply chain systems in the industry, with over 40 Pfizer-owned sites and over 200 suppliers globally, which provides capacity and redundancy as needed.
Our manufacturing and supply chain professionals have been working non-stop to ensure that the global supply of Pfizer medicines continue to be available to patients. As of now, we have not seen a disruption in our supply chain, and all of our plants in impacted areas around the world are operational. We have implemented an unprecedented and comprehensive preparedness plan to control our site operations and will continue to provide timely updates if there is any new information to be shared.
We have increased production, shifted demand to the most critical products, and authorized overtime at many sites to meet patient needs. We have also implemented an enhanced demand monitoring and order management process and instituted a heightened logistics control program to ensure our products get from our sites to our customers. We have expanded the use of Digital Operations Center, which is a Pfizer-developed digital solution that enables our supply operations. The expansion provides visual management and action tracking capabilities that allow colleagues at our sites - either physically or virtually - to stay connected and work collaboratively while maintaining social distance guidelines.
For 170 years, our scientists and experts at Pfizer have addressed global health challenges, bringing forth a multitude of vaccines and therapies for patients suffering from many different conditions, including infectious diseases. In the case of COVID-19, we are committed to bringing forth medical solutions to address this pandemic.
As part of our immediate response, we identified anti-viral compounds in our libraries which have shown activity for highly related viruses and that may have potential to address COVID-19 based on our modeling. We are engaging with a third party to screen these compounds under an accelerated timeline and currently expect to have the results back by the end of March. We are also working with our partner BioNTech to co-develop a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
On a broader scale, Pfizer is committed to working as one team across the industry to harness our scientific expertise, technical skills and manufacturing capabilities to combat this evolving crisis. We have made five promises that will help scientists more rapidly bring forward therapies and vaccines to protect humankind from this escalating pandemic and prepare the industry to better respond to future global health crises.
Our Clinical Trials
UPDATE: March 25 —To avoid adding to the demands on the healthcare system during this unprecedented crisis with COVID-19, we are pausing for three weeks the recruitment portion of our new and ongoing global interventional clinical studies. We are taking this action in the interests of public health, so that our clinical site partners and we can concentrate on caring for patients in our ongoing clinical trials.
The pause will not affect China, Japan and South Korea, where recruitment will continue. This pause will also not apply to trials that are recruiting individuals with life-threatening conditions who have few or no other therapeutic options, including several oncology studies and our DMD gene therapy program. In addition, this decision will not affect studies that are already fully recruited.
Patients in our ongoing trials will not be impacted by this decision.
We have an important responsibility to the patients currently in our clinical trials. This decision will allow our investigators and us to focus on those individuals.
We will review this decision in three weeks and provide another update then. We expect over time to resume recruitment and new study starts on a country-by-country basis.
Importantly, this decision will not affect the start of our COVID-19 vaccine study with BioNTech, nor our intent to move with unprecedented speed in developing our antiviral and other compounds that may be useful in this crisis.
Helping Patients in Need through Our Patient Assistance Programs
Pfizer recognizes the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic is placing on patients and healthcare providers around the world. We are working with governments, international NGOs and US-based not-for profit organizations to respond to this pandemic by donating much needed medications and vaccines and working to support frontline health workers.
In the US we have temporarily adapted some elements of the Pfizer Patient Assistance Program to accommodate the evolving needs of patients we serve and ensure they get access to their medicines without interruption. To date, upon request, we have responded by increasing patient supply during the quarantine, where possible, approved telehealth prescribing, and more. If you or someone you know needs help accessing a physician-prescribed Pfizer medicine, we may be able to help; please contact Pfizer RxPathways at 1-844-989-7284.
Please note that all changes are temporary and upon request only. These changes apply only to patients in the United States and its territories and require a valid prescription.
Our Relief Efforts
Pfizer and The Pfizer Foundation have a long history of addressing humanitarian disasters. We are working with governments and international non-governmental organizations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by donating much needed medications and vaccines and working to support front line health workers. We have committed $40 million in medical and charitable cash grants to help combat the global health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and around the world. The donation addresses the urgent needs of partners who are working to slow the spread of the virus within communities and strengthen vulnerable healthcare systems against future public health threats.
Additionally, in recognition of the unprecedented demands that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on health care systems around the world, Pfizer has created a new Global COVID-19 Medical Service Program that empowers medical colleagues to provide diagnostic, treatment and public health support in the battle against COVID-19. Licensed medical professionals who feel duty-bound to provide their services during this crisis will now have a way to engage in the fight. Colleagues will continue to receive their full pay, benefits and be able to return to their position upon completion of service.
Many of Pfizer’s approximately 90,000 colleagues are donating their time and skills through virtual and other safe volunteer activities to help address urgent COVID-19 related health needs at the community level, and The Pfizer Foundation is matching colleague donations to local, national and global charitable organizations.
For more on Pfizer’s commitment to patients, read our five-point plan calling on the biopharmaceutical industry to join the company in committing to unprecedented collaboration to combat COVID-19. For additional information about Pfizer, please see our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the information provided in the sections captioned “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results.”