The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic disrupted global supply chains, healthcare operations, and everyday life as we know it. The tremendous efforts made from within and from beyond the traditional healthcare supply chain to combat the spread of COVID-19 paint a picture of cooperation and selflessness.

The truly global nature of COVID-19 has seen Heroes in Action rising to occasion from pharmaceutical manufacturers to local pharmacies and every aspect of healthcare in between, often risking their own health and safety. Their heroism has inspired Helpers from outside of the normal healthcare supply chain to pitch in wherever they could.

The unique and unprecedented COVID-19 crisis and those who rose to the occasion to respond to it deserve recognition. Healthcare Ready created this space to highlight the Heroes of the Supply Chain and the Helpers of the Supply Chain who have gone above and beyond their normal duties to contribute to the response, as well as to honor the healthcare Beacons of Light we have lost to COVID-19.

Heroes of the Supply Chain

Partners along every part of the healthcare supply chain, in collaboration with medical providers and healthcare facilities, go above and beyond during emergencies to ensure patients and providers have the products they depend upon. During the pandemic, Heroes of the Supply Chain have gone above and beyond their normal missions to donate product, support employee volunteerism, and more.

Helpers of the Supply Chain

Helpers are organizations and partners that are not traditional players in healthcare supply chain, but have gone the extra mile to protect patients or contribute to the resilience of the supply chain during the pandemic.

Beacons of Light

Beacons of Light are those frontline workers, healthcare providers, researchers, emergency managers, and patients that sacrificed their lives in the fight against COVID-19.

Heroes of the Supply Chain

Regeneron’s Community Outreach Efforts to Protect Public Health during Global Pandemic Lauded by Healthcare Ready

It is difficult to envision a more robust and comprehensive response to the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic than the actions taken by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to create and support access to COVID-19 therapeutics. Click here to read more.

In 2021 BD partnered with the U.S. Government on $70 million infrastructure project to expand Nebraska manufacturing facility

As the world’s largest manufacturer of injection devices, BD swiftly partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to invest in a $70 million expansion of its Nebraska manufacturing facility soon after COVID-19 hit our domestic shores. Click here to read more.

Medical Device Industry Bolsters Nation's Supply Chain Capacity and Resilience

Healthcare Ready applauds the medical device industry’s efforts for investing in and developing strategies to bolster supply chain resilience to help companies mitigate current and long-term risks during COVID-19 and natural disasters. Click here to read more.

Healthcare Ready Bestows “2021 Hero of the Supply Chain” Award on Pharmaceutical Industry for Efforts to Mitigate COVID-19 Impact on Society

To make the seemingly impossible a reality, the pharmaceutical industry leveraged existing partnerships with the federal government as they relentlessly tackled every challenge and spent thousands of hours racing to create safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. Impressing and shocking nearly everyone, at the end of 2021, the first shots of COVID-19 were in arms, a record accomplishment by any estimation. Click here to read more.

Gilead Donates Existing Supply of Remdesivir for Treatment of COVID-19

Gilead is harnessing decades of antiviral expertise, including more than 10 years of work on Remdesivir, an investigational medicine for COVID-19, to rapidly respond. Gilead initiated two Phase 3 clinical studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Remdesivir in adults diagnosed with COVID-19. These randomized, open-label, multicenter studies began enrolling patients in March 2020 and will enroll a total of 1,000 patients in the initial phase in countries with high prevalence of COVID-19.

Gilead embarked on a resource- and time-intensive journey in January to accelerate manufacturing timelines to increase supply of Remdesivir. The company has set a goal of manufacturing more than 1 million treatment courses by the end of 2020 and several million in 2021.

Gilead continues to work closely with regulatory authorities to expand access programs for Remdesivir and has donated its existing supply, equaling 1.5 million individual doses for the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19 infection for clinical trials, compassionate use or expanded access programs, and following potential future regulatory authorizations.

Gilead established a $20 million philanthropic fund, the Gilead CARES  Grantee Fund, to support nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Bristol Myers Squibb Mobilizes Resources to Serve Healthcare Workers and Vulnerable Populations

Recognizing that this is a challenging time for everyone and that patients are facing additional hardships, biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) expanded its patient support programs to offer critical relief. On April 7th, BMS expanded its existing programs to help eligible unemployed patients in the US who have lost their health insurance due to unemployment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded program offers access to BMS medicines for free, including some of the most widely prescribed products and those prescribed via telehealth services.

BMS also supports its employees who are licensed healthcare professionals as they volunteer in local hospitals by providing them with full pay and benefits. In addition, its employees across the world have volunteered their skills virtually. Through Skills2Give, an ongoing BMS volunteer program with which over 3,000 employees are registered, colleagues in the US, UK, and Australia can select from virtual opportunities with thousands of nonprofit organizations.

Source: PhRMABMS

Lilly, Merck, and Pfizer Empower Employees to Volunteer on Healthcare Frontlines

Biopharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly, Merck, and Pfizer have created programs empowering employees with medical or laboratory expertise to pause their current roles and to volunteer their skills to help local healthcare organizations. Together, these major companies employ thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical laboratory technicians, and other medical professionals whose services are in especially high demand during this crisis. The companies will maintain the base pay of those who volunteer and provide them with full benefits.

Lilly is deploying its medical professionals to staff a free drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Merck is collaborating with The Health Management Academy to identify facilities with the greatest need and triage qualifying volunteers to serve. Pfizer has created a Global COVID-19 Medical Service Program that enables medical colleagues to provide diagnostic, treatment, and public health support.

Motivated by the selfless desire to protect and help others, especially members of vulnerable populations, these employees jumped at the chance to join frontline medical efforts to combat COVID-19. Their passion motivated them to act when they saw the immense need around them. These employees serve as volunteers in the COVID-19 Drive Thru Testing Program, practice as physicians in doctor’s offices, and see patients at hospital emergency room overflow tents, amongst other activities.

Healthcare Ready Honors Healthcare Distribution Sector as 2021 'Hero of the Supply Chain’

Since 2020, healthcare distributors have maintained incredible flexibility as they collectively responded to internal and external pressures while safeguarding the safe, efficient, and effective distribution of lifesaving medicines and healthcare products throughout the nation. Click here to read more.

DHL Delivers 11,200 Masks to Healthcare Facilities in Los Angeles and San Bernardino County

As the response to COVID-19 ramped up across California, DHL Express saw an opportunity to repurpose its previous preparedness measures in support of healthcare workers on the frontlines. The company had purchased masks during the 2019 California wildfires to protect its employees. Now, with the pandemic creating a widespread shortage of personal protective equipment, DHL decided to donate the thousands of extra masks it had on hand to healthcare workers in need. Although DHL employees could have indeed used the masks, which are currently in short supply, they recognized the urgent need for FDA-certified masks among healthcare workers. DHL’s generosity and dedication to emergency preparedness provided a much-needed donation to two large Californian hospital systems.

Healthcare Ready identified the local hospital systems who were a good fit for the donation, facilitated the connections, and assisted in ironing out delivery details. Through our outreach and coordination efforts, the masks were ultimately delivered to the distribution centers of the two facilities for processing and redistribution.

Source: Healthcare Ready

Dispensers and Providers
Healthcare Ready Honors Frontline Healthcare Workers as 2021 'Heroes of the Supply Chain’

Healthcare Ready is proud to honor the various ways pharmacies, pharmacists, community health centers, nurses, physicians, medical technicians, and every other healthcare worker has gone above and beyond to make sure patients have the care they need throughout the entire pandemic. Click here to read more.

Staten Island Super Health Pharmacy and Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes Partner to Protect Local Healthcare Workers

Super Health Pharmacy and Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes are working together to provide free personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers in New York. Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes is a nonprofit organization. Its workers park a truck full of KN95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, and gowns in front of hospitals and nursing homes in need. Volunteers then securely pass out items to healthcare workers who stand in line 6 feet apart. After showing a valid hospital ID, they are able to obtain necessary PPE.  

Working closely together, these organizations are sourcing critical items through FDA-certified suppliers to ensure that the healthcare heroes in local hospitals are getting safe, reliable PPE. Super Health Pharmacy has also donated the vehicles being used to transport everything to the hospitals where the PPE is being distributed. It has helped to provide more than 100,000 pieces of PPE to hospital staff in Staten Island. 

Super Health Pharmacy is also offering free three-ounce hand sanitizers to any first responders, medical, and pharmacy personnel for as long as supplies are available. 

Sources: Art Science Research Laboratory; SiLive

CVS Supports the Mental Health of Helpers, Heroes, and Others Experiencing Pandemic-Related Challenges

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, helpers and heroes who go above and beyond to keep others safe, healthy, and able to access essential services and resources have experienced many daunting challenges. Yet, they remain committed to helping and serving others. CVS recognized that “these helpers need help, too.” 

CVS Health stepped up to connect these individuals with mental wellbeing resources and counseling services designed to address their needs during this unprecedented and difficult time. It is offering expanded services and resources to support significantly impacted groups, including frontline healthcare workers, essential workers, seniors, and furloughed and laid-off workers. 

CVS Health and the Aetna Foundation are offering access to no-cost mental health counseling via the Crisis Text Line and Give An Hour. The Crisis Text Line For the Frontlines provides 24/7 direct mental health support for healthcare workers dealing with stress, anxiety, fear, depression, or isolation associated with COVID-19. Give An Hour offers personalized counseling to hospital-based employees and the loved ones of essential hospital workers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to help manage trauma responses. 

CVS Health is committed to helping essential workers, including grocery, pharmacy, and service employees, who are also on the frontlines. Aetna Resources For Living (RFL) provides services and resources to support basic needs such as meals, childcare, eldercare, and financial guidance. RFL also provides wellbeing and emotional support for seniors, including by expanding social connectedness outreach. Through RFL, seniors can access support for basic needs including food and prescriptions. Further resources include emotional support for coping with job loss, family meals, and financial guidance. Additional resources are available to help CVS Health employees build mental health resilience, cope with uncertainty, reduce stress, and foster connectivity. 


TopRx Engages with Local Businesses to Support Furloughed Workers

As a distributor working with more than 7,000 independent pharmacies across the United States, TopRx helps support local communities throughout the country. In February 2020, as news about the coronavirus started to spread, TopRx developed a company-wide emergency response team to keep employees safe and continue getting prescription medicines where they were needed. As the company ramped up work to fulfill a growing number of orders, it turned to its local community as a source of additional staff. TopRx reached out to local businesses who were hit hard economically by COVID-19 to make part-time opportunities available to furloughed employees.

The company also supports local restaurants who have been forced to reduce operations during the national stay-at-home orders through “Free Food Fridays,” an initiative where all employees who work on Friday get a free meal from restaurants near TopRx facilities. This allows the company to show appreciation for hardworking employees, while supporting small businesses.

Source: HDA

Genentech Provides $7 Million to Support Community Organizations During COVID-19

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, is actively responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic and donating an initial $7 million to organizations dedicated to providing emergency public health response, food assistance, housing and care for the most vulnerable directed on a national, regional and local level. Genentech is also making significant financial donations to organizations like Direct Relief that are working locally and nationally to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face masks, goggles and gowns and other critical support to health care systems.

Genentech is also working hard in the areas of treatment and testing for COVID-19. The organization announced the FDA approved the initiation of the company’s Phase III clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Actemra®.

Roche received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the cobas® SARS-CoV-2 Test to detect the novel virus that causes COVID-19 disease. Hospitals and reference laboratories can run the test on Roche’s fully automated systems, which are widely available in the U.S. and around the world. The organization expects to supply millions of tests per month globally.

Source: PhRMA

Alkermes Supports Most Vulnerable During COVID-19

As a leader in mental health, Alkermes recognizes there are many people who will be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19—particularly some of the most vulnerable members of society such as those living with serious mental illness and opioid and alcohol dependence.

In an effort to address this, Alkermes has made donations to five organizations with a focus on delivering food and support for low-income families and children, as well as seniors in the local communities where it operates including: the Council on Aging and the Wilmington School District, two essential communities during this time of need (Ohio); Healthy Waltham, an organization providing food to children who normally depend on meals in schools and to seniors so they can remain at home safely during this crisis (Massachusetts); ALONE, a program focused on caring for the elderly population during this vulnerable and isolating period (Ireland); and Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

Alkermes also launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a special edition of the Alkermes Inspiration Grants® program, designed to support COVID-19-related needs for people living with addiction, serious mental illness or cancer.

Source: PhRMA

In the Fight Against COVID-19 Otsuka Supports Patients and Healthcare Workers

Otsuka is making a difference in local communities and providing support through a new charitable organization – The Sozosei Foundation – with a commitment of $500,000 in aggregate donations to five local charities in the central New Jersey and Washington, D.C. areas to support those impacted by COVID-19 with a focus on providing meals and housing services to at-risk community members including children and the elderly.

Otsuka employees have also mobilized to secure and deliver critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to local health organizations in greatest need. To date, Otsuka has donated more than 3,000 pieces of PPE equipment, including 2,360 medical grade N95 respirator masks to hardest hit institutions in New Jersey. Otsuka employees also delivered more than 75 cases of bottled water to local EMTs including Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad and the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department and 94 iPads to charitable organizations who will distribute them to institutions in greatest need.

The organization announced an extension to their patient support program to provide “no-cost” access to Otsuka’s branded portfolio for patients in the U.S. who have lost a job or health insurance coverage due to COVID-19.

Source: PhRMA