How 13 drugmakers have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic

Maia Anderson - Print  | 

Drugmakers have taken steps such as lowering insulin costs and waiving license restrictions on possible treatments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The companies have also cut staff and delayed mergers to protect themselves financially. 

Editor's note: This is not an exhaustive list. Drugmakers are listed in alphabetical order. 

  1. AbbVie waived license restrictions on an HIV drug that may treat COVID-19. The drugmaker also pushed back its takeover of Allergan to May due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  2. Bayer fired an employee who broke quarantine rules in Beijing, China. 

  3. Eli Lilly capped insulin costs at $35 per month in an effort to help patients afford the drug during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  4. Gilead asked the FDA to take back orphan drug status for its experimental drug, remdesivir, which is being tested to treat COVID-19. It also boosted production of remdesivir and had 1.5 million doses as of April 4.

  5. Johnson & Johnson partnered with the U.S. government to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, with the government investing $1 billion.

  6. Mylan delayed its merger with Upjohn until the second half of this year because of unexpected delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

  7. Novartis said it plans to conduct a 440-person clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19. 

  8. Novo Nordisk offered a free 90-day supply of insulin to patients who were financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  9.  Regeneron teamed up with Sanofi to launch clinical trials to see if a drug they co-developed can treat symptoms of COVID-19.

  10. Rising Pharmaceuticals, a New Jersey-based drugmaker, slashed the price of its chloroquine tablets, a drug that may treat COVID-19, by more than half.

  11. Pfizer identified a lead COVID-19 drug candidate that it hopes to start testing on humans in the summer.

  12. Sage Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based drugmaker, cut 53 percent of its workforce in an effort to save money.

  13. Sanofi partnered with GlaxoSmithKline to create a COVID-19 vaccine with funding from HHS.

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