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


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

  • Bristol Myers Squibb has a global exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize the Rockefeller University’s novel monoclonal antibody (“mAb”) duo treatment that neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus for therapy or prevention of COVID-19. The preclinical data suggest that this could enable effective treatment against multiple variants of the virus using a low dose subcutaneous administration, which would increase access to the medicine globally, including to low- and middle-income countries and communities where healthcare resources are limited, by eliminating the need for intravenous infusion. The mAb duo is part of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) program and the Phase 2 trial (ACTIV-2) began enrolling in May.
  • Additionally, as part of our contributions to the ACTIV program:
    • Bristol Myers Squibb has also donated doses of apixaban (ACTIV-4) and abatacept (ACTIV-1) to NIH clinical trials assessing potential treatments for patients with COVID-19.
    • Bristol Myers Squibb is conducting real world data research to further advance potential treatment approaches of significant cardiovascular complications of COVID-19.
  • We evaluated compounds in our portfolio for potential clinical study that may have an impact on the inflammatory immune response associated with COVID-19, including abatacept. This research is advancing as company-sponsored and investigator-sponsored trials under the leadership of a Bristol Myers Squibb cross-functional team
  • 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 contributed more than 1,000 proprietary compounds to screen for possible molecules to treat COVID-19.
  • Bristol Myers Squibb organized and is leading a COVID-19 Testing Industry Consortium with 24 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.
  • 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 our workforce, communities and patients, and ensuring the continued supply of life-saving medicines.
  • As a science-based company, we have a social responsibility to help reduce the spread of the virus. We are encouraged that more than 85% of our employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are vaccinated against COVID-19, and as of November 1, 2021, vaccination will be required for all of our colleagues in these regions. We are committed to implementing similar requirements in other markets wherever possible. Medical or religious accommodations will be considered on an individual basis.
  • We continue to require weekly asymptomatic testing, mask wearing, and physical distancing of all colleagues onsite at our facilities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. We also keep our workforce safe by conducting regular deep cleaning of our sites.
  • 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, 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.

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 is robust and carefully managed. Our clinical and commercial supply chain teams have proactively used business continuity plans to ensure our products reach our markets, clinical sites and patients 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. 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.
  • All of our U.S. and Puerto Rico personnel are required to be vaccinated to interact with customers, vendors and people at our clinical trial sites. We are also continuing to employ  remote interactions as appropriate to ensure continued support for healthcare professionals, patient care, and access to our medicines across our global markets.

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, each contributed financial support and needed products (e.g., PPE and medical equipment) to relief efforts. Together, Bristol Myers Squibb and the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation contributed more than $31 million in financial support and needed products (e.g., PPE and medical equipment) to relief efforts in 45 countries. The company and the Foundation both focused on areas of highest unmet need, including providing for basic human needs, addressing medical supply shortages, and supporting continued care for the most vulnerable populations.  
  • The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation 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 contributed funding to support the work of more than 40 patient advocacy groups and professional societies. Bristol Myers Squibb engaged with more than 250 patient and professional organizations to support research, education, and other efforts to benefit patients.
  • 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 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 in 20 countries have participated in ECHO COVID clinics to date.
  • 20 Seconds or More/20 Segundos o Mas, a PSA campaign led by Hip Hop Public Health to encourage hand washing and other safety protocols among youth, and funded by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation and Bristol Myers Squibb people and business resource groups Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD) and Organization for Latino Achievement (OLA).
  • 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 3,800 employees are registered with the program.
  • At the company’s inaugural BMS for Community event on October 1-4, 2020 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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