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How has the pharmaceuticals industry responded to Covid-19?

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all of us in a number of different ways. With nearly every industry touched by the virus, people working in all new environments and society adjusting to a completely different way of living and interacting, it remains to be seen exactly what the long-term impact of the pandemic will be.

Despite this uncertainty – and the fact that many organisations and industries have come to a standstill – the pharmaceutical and life science industry has taken very clear positive steps worldwide. Here’s how the pharmaceuticals industry has responded to Covid-19.

Companies are tackling treatment and vaccine development

Treatment development is one of the key activity areas for life sciences organisations helping to fight Covid-19. Pharmaceutical organisations have sprung into action to provide research and development during this time, with a particular focus on finding a vaccine.

By mid-May there were more than 1,000 clinical trials with more than 150 treatments being tested worldwide, with diagnostics, treatments, health technologies and vaccines being prioritised by pharma companies, many of which have temporarily abandoned other projects to focus on Covid-19 solutions. We’re seeing new levels of collaboration, with the likes of CEPI and GSK working together to develop a vaccine and CSL Limited partnering with the University of Queensland’s Covid-19 vaccine development programme. GSK has also partnered with Sanofi to combine technologies to develop an adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine due to enter clinical trials in the second half of 2020. This is just the tip of the iceberg, with companies all over the world racing to develop, test and manufacture safe and effective vaccines and treatments as the pandemic continues to take its toll globally.

Care is coming before cost

Big pharma companies are demonstrating consideration and care as they work to fight Covid-19. Many have committed money towards disaster relief, including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and AbbiVe, who each donated tens of millions of dollars, while Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky has stated that the company has no intention of making any profits from any vaccine it brings to patients. Meanwhile, Gilead has made waves with its remdesivir therapeutic, with CEO Daniel O’Day saying the company will provide 1.5 million doses of the drug at no cost to patients for compassionate use.

Life sciences supporting the NHS

As well as contributing to the search for diagnostics and treatments, the pharma industry is supporting the NHS and patients across the UK. From supporting millions of face masks to healthcare workers (AstraZeneca) and distributing hand cream products to NHS health workers (Johnson & Johnson) to donating to charities such as Age UK and Fare Share (Takeda UK), life sciences organisations are showing their support for frontline staff and those working to help others in their time of need.

Take your next step in the pharmaceuticals and medical sales industry with IQVIA

The life sciences industry has a variety of different functions and roles under its umbrella, whether that’s medical sales representatives helping to bring new treatments to market or nurse advisors working with patients and the NHS to improve health outcomes.

If you want to make a difference and are interested in your next role within this forward-thinking, innovative industry, we could have the opportunity for you. Find out more about our careers here.

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