Apr 29, 2020

Cairo, April 21, 2020 — As global efforts to protect and prevent against the spread of COVID-19 intensify, Novartis Egypt, including all its divisions: Pharma, Oncology, Sandoz and Technical Operations announced a range of initiatives to support the ongoing fight against the virus. A key part of this endeavor is providing front-line support. Through its ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Novartis Egypt is funding the provision of essential personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals (masks, gowns, goggles/glasses, face shields/ head covers) in addition to diagnostic PCR kits for COVID-19 tests. Novartis’s fund, valued at EGP 6.5mn, will be managed by the Ministry of Health to ensure that support is directed towards government healthcare professionals and facilities most in need.

Continuing their efforts to support healthcare professionals and facilitate greater access to information, Novartis Egypt collaborated with the Ministry of Health to run Egypt’s first COVID-19 awareness seminar on March 29. Entitled “COVID-19 from Precaution to Treatment”, the webinar brought together more than 5,600 multi-specialty doctors to discuss latest developments in virus containment and treatment. Further national awareness webinars are also underway to be rolled out over the coming period to ensure covering the majority of healthcare professionals allover Egypt. (one of which will be in collaboration with the Egyptian Drug Association targeting pharmacists).

Speaking about Novartis’s role in the fight against COVID-19, Georg Schroeckenfuchs, MEA Cluster Head and Vice President Egypt said, “As a global healthcare company, we are deeply committed to supporting the fight against COVID-19 on all fronts. Our immediate primary concern remains protection and prevention of the spread of the virus, as we work alongside global experts to develop more definitive long-term solutions. We are working closely with the Egyptian government to help address the most pressing challenges resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. In line with our social responsibility to help control and limit the spread of this pandemic, the health and safety of our associates and patients is paramount. Throughout this period, we will ensure business continuity and availability of our medicines to all patients in Egypt.”

To ensure the wellbeing and safety of its associates and further contain the spread of COVID-19, all Novartis associates are requested to work from home, with the exception of those working in laboratories and manufacturing sites. The company has also stepped up the utilization of digital engagement tools to support internal collaboration as well as outreach to healthcare professionals and customers where 58 virtual meetings were conducted over the past 3 weeks with the participation of 13,200 doctors across all specialties.

To support cross cultural knowledge exchange and facilitate the most comprehensive approach to managing and treating COVID-19, Novartis will be hosting a range of medical webinars for MEA healthcare professionals. During these webinars the medical community will have an opportunity to learn about the experiences of China, Germany and Italy, allowing them to consolidate most effective lines of treatment and better prepare for COVID-19 patients.

On Global Level 

Novartis announced a broad set of measures to support the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic including the creation of the Novartis COVID-19 Response Fund, providing grants to support public health initiatives designed to help communities manage challenges posed by the pandemic. Additionally, the company has also committed to providing 130 million doses of Sandoz’s hydroxychloroquine, in response to initially promising data surrounding the drug to support pandemic response. Novartis is also studying the product in several important clinical trials around the world.

Novartis has also joined two key cross-industry R&D initiatives including 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). Both cross-sector collaborations bring several pharmaceutical companies and expert academic institutions into coordinated research programs, with the aim of bringing the most promising molecules forward quickly without organizational barriers.

Additionally, clinical investigations into a number of Novartis medicines, with possible efficacy against COVID-19, are already taking place. The company is also rapidly evaluating other existing products to see if any could potentially be utilized beyond current indications, in response to the pandemic.

Novartis Egypt confirmed their support for healthcare professionals and front-liners across the country, with Schroeckenfuchs saying, “We are profoundly grateful and proud of the medical community and front-liners who are working tirelessly to manage and treat COVID-19 patients. We understand the importance of standing together during these challenging times and will continue to work closely with the government and healthcare professionals to support them in saving lives.”

About Novartis

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.

Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at https://twitter.com/novartisnews.

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About Sandoz

Sandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Our purpose is to pioneer access for patients by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be the world’s leading and most valued generics company. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2019 sales of USD 9.7 billion. Sandoz is headquartered in Holzkirchen, in Germany’s Greater Munich area.

Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at http://twitter.com/Sandoz_Global.

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Novartis Media Relations

E-mail: [email protected]

Reem ElAdl Novartis Egypt Corporate
Head Communications & Patient Advocacy
+20 1001879099
+20 1001879099
[email protected]

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