Updated Statement: Bristol Myers Squibb on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

11/02/2020

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Bristol Myers Squibb has focused on ensuring the continued supply of our medicines to our patients and protecting the health, wellbeing and safety of our workforce. We are also participating in partnerships and research efforts to advance diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19 and supporting relief efforts across the globe.

Contributions to Research, Life-Sciences Industry

  • We are participating in several cross-industry groups and public-private partnerships designed to foster collaboration and coordinate industry response efforts, and thereby accelerate the development, manufacturing, and delivery of diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19.
  • We are one of 15 companies participating in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to identify concrete actions to accelerate treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics in the field. As part of this effort, Bristol Myers Squibb has identified more than 1,000 proprietary compounds to be made available to collaborators with high-quality assays, to screen for possible molecules to treat COVID-19.
  • Bristol Myers Squibb organized and is leading a COVID-19 Testing Industry Consortium with 18 other healthcare companies that aims to inform, improve, innovate, and accelerate various aspects of testing for COVID-19, ranging from research to clinical diagnostic applications.
  • We have evaluated compounds in our portfolio that could be included in near-term clinical trials with a focus on agents that may have an impact on the inflammatory immune response associated with COVID-19, which in certain COVID-19 patients has led to acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiple organ failure, and other life-threatening complications. This research is advancing as company-sponsored and investigator-sponsored trials under the leadership of a Bristol Myers Squibb cross-functional team focused on advancing this science with a sense of urgency.
    • Bristol Myers Squibb initiated a proof-of-concept clinical trial assessing the safety and efficacy of abatacept in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The trial is currently enrolling.
    • Bristol Myers Squibb is part of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) initiative, a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Foundation for NIH (FNIH), as well as a number of other industry, not-for-profit, and public health organizations, to develop a national strategy for coordinated COVID-19 research response. As part of this initiative, Bristol Myers Squibb is donating doses of apixaban and abatacept to NIH Phase 3 clinical trials funded through Operation Warp Speed assessing potential treatments for patients with COVID-19.
  • Bristol Myers Squibb is also involved in a consortium of companies that is focused on sharing data and identifying molecules with the strongest scientific rationale for investigating with clinical trials, and accelerating them into studies.
  • Our contributions to COVID-19 research reflect collaborative and productive discussions internally and with the broader life sciences community about how we can have the greatest impact given our company’s areas of strength, and we will continue to engage in this way in order to support the significant and rapid effort underway as the science evolves.

Workplace and Community

  • We are maintaining our steadfast commitment to protecting the health and safety of our workforce and our communities while ensuring uninterrupted supply of medicines to patients and building on our competitive advantage.  
  • Our manufacturing sites have remained open throughout the pandemic supported by on site personnel. We have taken a thoughtful and phased approach to bringing the rest of our workforce back to our 250+ sites around the world and into the field, guided by the following principles:  
    • Serving the Needs of our Patients and Customers
    • Prioritizing Health and Safety
    • Following Medical Advice and Government Direction
    • Leading with Compassion and Flexibility
    • Modeling Key Learnings
  • No single approach fits for every site or market – our timelines and circumstances have varied across the globe. We are monitoring local conditions and government direction closely and adjusting our plans as appropriate.
  • We continue to take significant measures to protect the safety of our colleagues on site, including providing protective equipment, ensuring physical distancing and enhancing cleaning.

Supply of Our Medicines and Support to Patients, Physicians and Advocacy Groups

  • An important element of keeping our promise to patients, their families and our healthcare providers is to ensure that our supply chain continues to deliver our medicines without interruption. Our clinical and commercial supply chain teams have proactively booked alternative means for moving our raw materials and products to our markets and clinical sites over the past months. Thanks to these efforts, we have not seen any disruption in our clinical or commercial supply chain due to the pandemic.
  • We recognize this remains a challenging time for everyone, and we know patients may be facing additional hardships. On April 7, we expanded our existing patient support programs to help eligible unemployed patients in the U.S. who have lost their health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded program offers access to Bristol Myers Squibb medicines for free, including some of the company’s most widely prescribed products, as well as those prescribed via telehealth services.
  • Our customer-facing personnel are employing a combination of in-person and remote interactions to ensure continued support for healthcare professionals, patient care, and access to our medicines across our global markets. The balance between in-person and remote engagement is varying market to market based on local conditions and government direction.

Our Clinical Trials and Research

  • We are working with health authorities and investigators to protect our trial participants and personnel at Bristol Myers Squibb and our clinical trial sites, while ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of our science.
  • We have provided clinical trial investigators with overarching principles and guidance regarding the conduct of BMS clinical trials worldwide in light of COVID-19, and are taking into account guidance from health authorities, where applicable.
  • In July 2020, Bristol Myers Squibb resumed start-up activities for new clinical trials, subject to certain conditions.  

Global Relief Efforts

  • Bristol Myers Squibb and the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, are contributing to relief efforts around the world. Together, Bristol Myers Squibb and the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation have contributed more than $31 million in financial support and needed products (e.g. PPE and medical equipment) to relief efforts in 45 countries. We’re focusing on areas of highest unmet need, including ensuring basic human needs, addressing medical supply shortages and supporting continued care of our most vulnerable communities.
  • The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation has supported nearly 50 organizations in the U.S. and more than 150 organizations globally that care for patients and that support those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. In addition, it has contributed funding to support the work of more than 40 patient advocacy groups and professional societies. Also, to support research, education, and a wide range of efforts to benefit patients in need, Bristol Myers Squibb is engaging with more than 250 patient and professional organizations. 
  • Notable examples include:
    • A $12 million grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation to Team Rubicon’s and Patient Advocate Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program, which is providing assistance to more than 20,000 immunocompromised patients living with cancer, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis whose ability to access or afford food and other nutritional needs is at risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • A program with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to deliver cutting-edge cancer care to veterans through Teleoncology hubs for which the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation committed to provide the VA with a grant totaling $4.5 million over three years. 
    • Bristol Myers Squibb’s partnership with GRYT Health to launch the COVID Advocacy Exchange, a virtual platform to unite patient advocacy organizations, patients, policy makers, healthcare practitioners and industry in the exchange of information.
    • A $500,000 grant supporting Project ECHO to scale healthcare provider training and deepen the effectiveness of the implementation of COVID-19 clinical care, public health, health service delivery and community outreach and engagement interventions for communities and populations most at risk from the virus. More than 600,000 healthcare and community supportive service workers have participated in ECHO COVID clinics to date.
    • 20 Seconds or More/20 Segundos o Mas, a PSA campaign to encourage hand washing and other safety protocols among youth, funded by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation and Bristol Myers Squibb employee resource groups Black Organization for Leadership Development and Organization for Latino Achievement. The campaign has earned more than 320 million impressions in earned and traditional media.
  • We are supporting our colleagues across the world who are volunteering on the frontlines and virtually in the fight against COVID-19. Colleagues who are licensed healthcare professionals who choose to volunteer in local hospitals continue to receive pay and benefits. Through Skills2Give, an ongoing Bristol Myers Squibb volunteer program, colleagues in the U.S., U.K., and Australia have the option to select from virtual volunteer opportunities with thousands of nonprofit organizations. Over 3,700 employees are registered with the program.  
  • At the company’s inaugural BMS for Community event on October 1-4, Bristol Myers Squibb employees, their families, and patients ‘Moved for Minutes’ in activities such as walking, running, swimming, cycling or volunteering. Participants of the event exceeded the 1 million minute goal, resulting in a $1 million donation from Bristol Myers Squibb to the American Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

We are grateful to the healthcare professionals on the frontlines who are fighting to help patients with COVID-19. We are thankful to our more than 30,000 colleagues who have never stopped working for patients, have demonstrated incredible resolve and support for one another, and have contributed meaningfully to global relief efforts.

As a responsible global citizen, we will take all necessary actions to promote public health and carry out our mission of providing life-saving medicines to the patients who depend on us.

For further inquiries, please contact media@bms.com. 

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