Merck, Pfizer, and Eli Lilly announced medical service volunteer programs to enable employees who are licensed medical professionals to aid in the fight against COVID-19 while maintaining their base pay.
This new effort is one of the many ways that America’s biopharmaceutical companies are coming together to fight COVID-19. Together, these three major biopharmaceutical companies employ thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical laboratory technicians and other medical professionals whose services are in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these companies are expanding their existing corporate volunteer programs so that qualified employees who opt to serve can do so for a more extended period than normally allowed.
According to the press statement, Merck will support its employees around the world who are uniquely qualified to offer medical services and wish to aid communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the US, Merck intends to collaborate with the Health Management Academy to identify facilities with the greatest need and triage potential qualifying volunteers to serve.
Pfizer has created a new Global COVID-19 Medical Service Program that empowers medical colleagues to offer diagnostic, treatment, and public health support in the battle against COVID-19. Licensed medical professionals who feel duty-bound to provide their services during this crisis will now have a way to engage in the fight against COVID-19. Colleagues will continue to receive their full pay, benefits, and be able to return to their position upon completion of service.
Lilly is deploying its medical professionals to staff a free drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. The testing facility serves active frontline health care workers and first responders, as a service to the community and to protect people working on the front lines of this pandemic. Lilly scientists are using the company’s specialized research laboratories to analyze the tests, as well as samples taken in Indiana health care facilities, including nursing homes and emergency rooms, in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health. Lilly is also allowing trained medical professionals to volunteer in the service of patients.
“COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges the global community will ever face, and our heroic health care professionals are, unquestionably, on the front-lines of that fight,” said Kenneth C Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. “We are enormously grateful to them all, and it is our honor to be able to support our employee volunteers who are joining them in caring for patients and communities affected by this pandemic.”
“At Pfizer, we employ some of the most dedicated and passionate medical professionals who have devoted their lives to combating disease and helping patients,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer, Pfizer. “During this unprecedented global health challenge, we are pursuing every option within Pfizer and with external partners to help fight COVID-19. We believe that by unleashing our medical professionals to help relieve some of the burden being felt by hospitals, we can help make a real and important difference. We support their wish to serve in this way and are grateful for their courage and selflessness.”
“Right now, the purpose of our industry has never been more clear and vital – to bring the full force of our scientific and medical expertise to attack this pandemic around the world,” said David A. Ricks, chairman and chief executive officer, Lilly. “We’re honored to join our industry partners in deploying our expert workforce to help fight the virus, and our medical professionals stand ready to volunteer. We’re working together – and with partners around the world – to help our communities’ weather this storm and come back even stronger.”