Fighting back against a global pandemic requires cooperation, collaboration, and teamwork. As part of Pfizer’s broader COVID-19 response, we are proud to partner with Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization dedicated to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, across all 50 United States and 80 countries.
Pfizer has always been committed to deploying our resources in times of crisis, and we leveraged our long-standing partnership with Direct Relief to help alleviate some of the issues facing hospitals overwhelmed by an influx of patients.
In the weeks leading up to a surge in hospitalizations for COVID-19, Direct Relief Pharmacist Alycia Clark foresaw a looming shortage of medication.
“We were asking for products for ICUs when the first cases were just hitting the U.S., and we had to take a risk,” Clark said. “Now hospitals are stocked out, pharmacies are stocked out, and manufacturers are stocked out.”1
She began putting together a program to assemble, stockpile, and quickly distribute essential supplies to hospitals in need, eventually securing supplies from a collection of pharmaceutical companies.
As a longstanding partner in Direct Relief’s efforts, including the donation of medicine to millions of HIV/AIDS patients in Africa via the Diflucan Partnership program, and helping provide over 1 million doses of naloxone to American health centers through the Naloxone Access Program, Pfizer was ready to contribute to the COVID-19 response.
“Amid this global health crisis, we understand the need for immediate and significant philanthropic and private sector contributions to help sustain partners who are working on the front lines to save lives,” said Caroline Roan, Vice President, Global Health & Patient Access of Pfizer Inc. and President of The Pfizer Foundation. “At Pfizer, we believe it is our responsibility to help protect the most vulnerable from this disease and are putting the full weight of our resources behind our comprehensive COVID-19 response.”
Pfizer has donated tens of thousands of units of antibiotics and vasopressor therapies for Direct Relief’s COVID-19 ICU Rx Modules, aka “push packs.” These modules have been endorsed by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and have enabled treatment for thousands of hospitalized patients with serious COVID-19 infections suffering from bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.
"SCCM was very pleased to partner with Direct Relief on the distribution of these valuable medications and equipment for intensive care professionals on the front lines of this pandemic," said David J. Martin, CAE, CEO/Executive Vice-President of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. "Direct Relief was there when our hospitals and ICUs were overwhelmed with critically ill COVID-19 patients, and we can't thank the organization enough for their dedication and commitment to supporting the critical care community during these unprecedented times."1
The push packs began to be shipped out at the beginning of April and have since been delivered to hospitals all over the globe. Pfizer is proud to team with Direct Relief and support the global healthcare community as just one small part of our comprehensive response to combating the pandemic.