How Lilly China joined China's fight against COVID-19
The COVID-19 epidemic not only affected the lives of patients infected with the coronavirus, patients with chronic diseases have also been affected. For chronic disease patients, a steady supply of medicine is critical, however traffic restrictions affected public transportation and courier services in some areas and many patients faced difficulties accessing needed medicines.
Lilly China, the local affiliate of global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, offered an online pharmacy map for diabetes patients to find the medicines they needed. To ensure these patients got proper treatment, Lilly worked with third-party Internet hospital platforms to provide one-stop services for patients, so that they could get treated at home without the risk of going outside.
Packaging line operations at Lilly’s Suzhou manufacturing site resumed on February 10, the first day they were allowed to do so based on government rules related to the resumption of business after an extended Chinese New Year. The site operates at a capacity to make sure Chinese patients who use Lilly’s medicines can access reliable supplies. For that to happen, Lilly ensured that front-line factory workers had sufficient supplies of masks.
“Patients are always at the heart of what we do,” says Lilly China President and General Manager Julio Gay-Ger. “We would like to work with the healthcare community and contribute our efforts in fighting the outbreak together.”
On January 24, Lilly China made a 1 million yuan (US$140,000) donation to the Chinese Red Cross Foundation, which was later used to help build the Huanggang Central Hospital Dabieshan Regional Medical Center that was put into use on January 28 to treat patients and help fight the outbreak.
On January 31, the Lilly Foundation donated US$250,000 to international NGOs Direct Relief and Project HOPE to purchase supplies to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. Centralizing donations from Lilly and other organizations, the two NGOs donated protective gear including surgical masks, isolation gowns and exam gloves to Hubei hospitals including Wuhan Union Hospital, Wuhan Tongji Hospital, Renmin and Zhongnan hospitals at Wuhan University, and Xiaogan Central Hospital.
Meanwhile, Lilly launched a global coronavirus disaster relief fund for the China outbreak. Personal donations of US$25 or more will be matched by the Lilly Foundation. Donations collected will be used in subsequent relief efforts.
In recent days, with the epidemic escalating and spreading to more parts of the world, Lilly China is also working to share its experiences in fighting the epidemic with its global counterparts, in the hopes of minimizing the impact to both employees and patients who need Lilly’s medicines.