The Supply of AstraZeneca Medicines
We continue to monitor the worldwide impact of COVID-19 very closely and have deployed business continuity plans to ensure the continued safety, quality and supply of our medicines. While this remains a very dynamic situation, we have no supply constraints and do not foresee supply interruptions related to COVID-19 in Canada at this time. We continue to work closely with our third-party logistics providers and have a plan in place to support the uninterrupted supply of medicines for Canadians.
Should the situation change, AstraZeneca Canada will post an update promptly to Health Canada’s Drug Shortage site (www.drugshortagescanada.ca).
Participation in Clinical Trials
Ensuring Canadian patients who are enrolled in clinical trials are able to continue their treatment is a top priority for AstraZeneca. We are making every effort to facilitate continuity of care and support for patients involved in our clinical trials, protecting the health and safety of patients and our employees.
Patient Support Programs
We recognize this is a very worrisome time for many people and we want to assure patients and health care providers that AstraZeneca is taking the appropriate steps to ensure the safe and continuous supply of our medicines to Canadian patients. This includes deploying business continuity plans to facilitate the ongoing care and support of patients accessing treatment through our Oncology Patient Support Program, CONNECT360 Patient Support Program, or Patient Assistance Program, and taking appropriate steps to safeguard the health of patients and medical staff at all program clinics and pharmacies.
Losing a job can be devastating, particularly in the midst of the sharp economic downturn created by the recent pandemic. AZCares Canada is a temporary program for Canadian patients on an AstraZeneca medicine who no longer have prescription drug benefits as a result of loss of employment due to COVID-19.
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Research Efforts
Through our scientific expertise in infectious disease and proprietary antibody discovery technology, AstraZeneca’s Research and Development (R&D) teams have been working quickly to identify monoclonal antibodies to progress towards clinical trial evaluation as a treatment to prevent COVID-19. More than 50 virology, immunology, respiratory, and protein engineering experts across research, clinical, regulatory, and manufacturing are placing the highest priority on developing a treatment to minimize the global impact of the disease.
AZ is accelerating the development of its diagnostic testing capabilities to scale-up screening and is also working in partnership with governments on existing screening programs to supplement testing. We continue to engage with international health authorities and governments in response to the outbreak, providing our science and technology expertise to authorities including the World Health Organization (WHO).
AstraZeneca’s Relief Efforts
The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPEs) globally – including ventilators, isolation and surgical masks, eye protection – and the ripple effect to those on the frontlines of the pandemic is a foremost concern for all health care professionals. AstraZeneca recently announced the donation of nine million face masks to support healthcare workers around the world as they respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The company has partnered with the World Economic Forum’s COVID Action Platform, created with the support of the World Health Organization, to identify countries in greatest need. Italy has begun receiving early shipments already, with other countries to follow.
In Canada, AstraZeneca has taken a lead role in sourcing and providing funding towards the donation of 100,000 N95 face masks by Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) for Canadian healthcare workers on the frontlines. This donation of N95 face masks is being made to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to distribute to Canadian hospitals and areas in greatest need.
To help address the many challenges presented by COVID-19 – including the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic – we have centralized our support of Canadian efforts behind donations to the Canadian Red Cross and Food Banks Canada, assisting their efforts to care for and support those most vulnerable in communities across Canada. We are also significantly expanding our employee volunteerism support – including health service for registered health care professionals and community volunteerism.
We continue to assess how we can support our communities where there is great need.