In response to the coronavirus outbreak currently afflicting the United States, East Hanover-based Novartis and its foundation arm announced on Friday they have established a U.S. COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
The fund will provide cash and in-kind donations totaling $5 million for immediate response to the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has profoundly impacted the lives of Americans in many unprecedented ways. As a leading medicines company, we understand the public health implications of this pandemic and must do our part to support organizations that are in the best position to provide services to people in need,” Tom Kendris, U.S. country president, Novartis Corp. and chairman, board of trustees, Novartis US Foundation, said. “This latest commitment is just one of many Novartis has made to help fight COVID-19 globally. From donations of hydroxychloroquine, monetary funds and equipment donations, to R&D programs and collaborations, we are humbled and pleased to offer financial support as well as scientific expertise.”
The foundation is also providing grants of up to $100,000 to address:
- Strengthening health care infrastructure to meet increased demand and protect frontline health workers;
- Establishing digital platforms for COVID-19 related data collection, remote delivery of health care and dissemination of important public health information;
- Creating or enhancing new community health programs specific to the pandemic response.
The company also announced that all of its non-essential U.S.-based employees have been working from home since March 16 and will continue to do so until at least May 1.
“At Novartis we recognize the implications COVID-19 could have on the patients we serve and the healthcare providers we support,” Kendris said. “We have implemented a number of solutions to help ease the burden that many may be experiencing during this time, including enhancing virtual support in our patient and physician call centers and expediting patient access requests.”