Novartis Malaysia announces broad range of initiatives to support the government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
Apr 27, 2020
RM1million contribution in partnership with MERCY Malaysia for personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in 27 government hospitals nationwide
Donation of 10,000 hand sanitizers for medical staff and patients at Hospital Kuala Lumpur
Commitment to ensure continuous supply of medicines to patients and healthcare providers
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 27 April 2020 – Novartis Malaysia today announced broad measures to support the government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia. These measures include a contribution of RM1million to MERCY Malaysia to purchase personal protection equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers throughout the country, a donation of 10,000 hand sanitizers for medical staff and patients at Hospital Kuala Lumpur as well as a steadfast commitment to ensure continuous supply of medicines to patients.
Patrik Grande, Country President & Managing Director of Novartis Malaysia, said: “We are dealing with an extraordinary and unprecedented public health crisis that requires an incredible level of involvement and collaboration across government, society and business. As a medicines company which has been in Malaysia since 1971 and a committed healthcare partner to the Ministry of Health and patients in Malaysia, we are stepping up to provide broad range support to vulnerable communities and national programs that can help address urgent public health needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. These holistic initiatives reaffirm our commitment to support healthcare providers and patients in the management of this deadly virus that has threatened thousands of lives in Malaysia.”
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, MERCY Malaysia has been working closely with the Ministry of Health to offer assistance where required. As part of their COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, one of the identified key areas in critical need was the diminishing supply of PPE for frontline healthcare workers in Malaysia. To address this acute shortage, Novartis Malaysia contributed RM1million from the global Novartis COVID-19 Response Fund to MERCY Malaysia, which will help support the much-needed operational supplies of PPEs to a total of 27 government hospitals including one university hospital across the country.
Expressing his gratitude, Executive Director of MERCY Malaysia, Ir Amran Mahzan commented, “The need for PPEs has skyrocketed in the last four weeks and we continue to receive multiple requests from clinics and hospitals every day. Novartis Malaysia’s contribution will help us provide this life-saving equipment to more frontliners who depend on them for protection from COVID-19 when treating patients. MERCY Malaysia’s wide outreach, with chapters and representatives in 7 states across the country, will allow us to deliver to even remote hospitals that urgently require PPEs.”
In addition, Novartis Malaysia had also provided 10,000 hand sanitizers to Hospital Kuala Lumpur on 25 March 2020, in response to an urgent plea for critical healthcare items required by medical staff and patients, to protect them from the spread of COVID-19.
Novartis Global commitment and response to COVID-19
Novartis is deeply dedicated to the global effort to combat COVID-19 and doing our part to support the stability of global healthcare systems. Last month, we announced a broad set of measures including the creation of a global fund of USD20 million to support communities around the world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Novartis joined two key cross-industry research initiatives, the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, coordinated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard, as well as a COVID-19 directed partnership organized by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). Novartis is separately supporting COVID-19 related clinical investigations of several Novartis medicines. More information about the Novartis response to COVID-19 is available on novartis.com/coronavirus.
Supporting Patients, Healthcare Providers and Systems
Earlier this month, Sandoz, the company’s generics and biosimilars division was the first company to commit to keeping prices stable for a basket of essential medicines that may help in the treatment of COVID-19, specifically antivirals to reduce the impact of coronavirus and antibiotics to combat pneumonia.
Furthermore, Novartis has been monitoring the global pandemic situation closely. The company’s primary concern has been the health and safety of employees and patients globally. Novartis continues to deliver its medicines to patients and healthcare providers around the world and does not anticipate supply chain disruption at this time given strong mitigation measures and inventory levels. The company has also activated mitigation plans to ensure ongoing drug supply and smooth operations for its over 500 clinical studies. In addition, the company has stepped up the utilization of digital engagement tools to support internal collaboration as well as outreach to healthcare professionals and customers.