Sometimes it can feel like we are helpless. Listening to the news day after day and watching the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems as if the problem is so massive that there is no way to do enough to help. It doesn’t necessarily feel heroic to stay in the house all day even though the data from around the world is showing that social distancing and voluntary quarantine is helping. But everything we can do, from staying home to wearing face masks when we absolutely have to go out, contributes to protecting people. As individuals, we are only part of the solution.
Private companies are stepping up to help as well. James Dyson, of Dyson vacuums, designed a new ventilator prototype. Tesla shifted their facilities to produce ventilators. Clothing manufacturers have shifted production to create masks. Distilleries have pivoted to manufacturing hand sanitizer. Private companies are doing everything they can to do their part and help during an unprecedented time in our history.
Another way that corporations are working together is by pooling their research and resources in order to help deliver a cure. According to Fierce Pharma, “Fifteen pharma companies—including Gilead Sciences, Pfizer, Novartis and Eli Lilly—have agreed to share their libraries of proprietary molecular compounds with the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator so the organization can look for potential treatments. It’s the first step in a partnership between the life sciences industry and the Gates Foundation-backed accelerator program.”
At a time when drug trials are in limbo due to COVID-19, pharma is pushing forward with research into a vaccine. Johnson and Johnson received approval to begin human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine in September 2020.
In an industry where research and formulations are prized intellectual property, these companies are stepping in to collaborate and share knowledge in order to accelerate the race to find a treatment for COVID-19. I’m proud that we have the opportunity to partner with pharma companies to help educate doctors and patients about treatment options. I have seen first-hand their dedication to improving patients’ lives. It is gratifying to know that they are taking the initiative to proactively find solutions to a global health crisis. It gives me hope that by working together as individuals and companies we will continue with the mission of providing the treatments and education patients need to live healthy lives. It gives me hope.