Parma (Italy), March 30 2020 – Chiesi Farmaceutici, an international research-focused healthcare Group (Chiesi Group), today announced a range of new measures to support employees, patients and healthcare providers in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. The measures include a €3 million fund to support the response to coronavirus in Italy. The Chiesi Group Emergency Management Teams at corporate level and in all affiliates continue to closely monitor all developments of the COVID-19 pandemic as they have since the emergency was declared. They have put in place several contingency measures to ensure the continuous supply of our medicines in all the countries in where they are distributed as well as measures to support health and well-being of employees, patients and partners.
Production and supply of medicines
Following the decree by the Italian government on March 22 calling the manufacture of all non-essential products in Italy to stop, Chiesi Group confirmed that production of all Company medicines would continue without interruption at our sites in Italy and abroad and that production would continue at the same high-quality standards. As of today, work is continuing and we are able to deliver medicines under normal production and distribution channels from all of our production plants in Italy, Brazil and France, and our global operations in research and development continue to advance.
Taking care of our employees and partners
In response to the pandemic, the Chiesi Group Emergency Management Teams have been implementing measures to safeguard the health and safety of all employees, with daily updates following guidance provided by institutions and the World Health Organization. These actions are focused on four main areas of activity: protecting, sharing, informing and training. The company has identified an essential workforce whose physical presence is indispensable on site to maintain the continuity of its operations and has provided the technological support and equipment necessary to ensure that all other Chiesi team members are able to work from home, with effective working policies now extended to all business functions.
For employees who continue to work on-site, rigorous processes have been implemented to protect their health including guidance on social distancing and new hygiene protocols in addition to existing routine safety and security procedures. To further support these colleagues who are playing a central role in supporting the normal performance of all Chiesi operations, the company has announced a 25% wage increase for on-site employees that will be paid for the duration of the emergency. For these employees, Chiesi Group has implemented this additional compensation to recognize the daily commitment and effort that they are making. Moreover, Chiesi Group has activated an additional insurance policy on top of existing coverage, dedicated to covering medical expenses and to provide additional levels of support in the unlikely event of contagion from COVID-19. Chiesi also offers a dedicated helpline providing access to expert psychologists available 24 hours a day every day for any Chiesi team members who may need additional support and counselling. These additional measures in support of the wellbeing and health of employees represent an investment of approximately €1 million to date.
Our commitment to supporting the global response
As a Benefit Corporation, Chiesi Group is committed to having a positive impact on society. In addition to the actions that Chiesi Group and its global affiliates have taken thus far to support patients, institutions and healthcare professionals during the pandemic, today the Group has announced a new €3 million fund to support efforts to address this crisis in Italy. This fund will support a range of actions including donations of personal protective equipment, ventilators and sanitising gel in response to requests from hospitals and other health institutions. The company has also made direct donations of drugs for respiratory diseases to hospitals in China and Italy. Chiesi has also set up a process where team members in Italy can donate "virtual" hours of work to an association of volunteers in Parma to support emergency response. The company converted the donated hours worked into a monetary donation, which was then doubled by the Chiesi Group. In two weeks close to € 70.000 have already been collected.
“In response to this unprecedented global health crisis, Chiesi remains committed to improving the quality of life of our patients and for our employees and collaborators while also protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees, patients and partners. This is at the heart of all the decisions we make related to the pandemic,” comments Ugo Di Francesco, CEO Chiesi Group. “We are very pleased that we have been able to ensure the continued production and supply of our drugs to the hospitals, doctors, and patients who rely on our medicines. As a pharmaceutical company, we are also leveraging our expertise, resources and materials in support of healthcare professionals globally and are looking at ways to increase our capacity as needs expand. We continue to work with all our partners and local, national or regional bodies all over the globe to ensure we can support them to the best of our ability.”
“We are honoured to be able to play our part in response to the crisis caused by this pandemic. In Italy we are facing what can only be described as a national emergency. As we increase our initiatives to protect our employees and patients, their safety will remain our first priority”, says Alberto Chiesi, President of Chiesi Group. “I am deeply proud of the commitment demonstrated by all our employees in this difficult time and would like to extend my personal thanks to them all.”
To date, Chiesi Group support and donations include:
About Chiesi Group
Based in Parma, Italy, Chiesi Farmaceutici is an international research-focused healthcare group with 85 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and a global presence in 29 countries. Chiesi researches, develops, and markets innovative drugs in the respiratory therapeutics, specialist medicine, and rare disease areas. Its R&D organization is headquartered in Parma (Italy), and is integrated with R&D groups in France, the USA, the UK, and Sweden to advance Chiesi's pre-clinical, clinical, and registration programs. Chiesi employs nearly 6,000 people. Chiesi Group is a certified Benefit corporation. For more information, please visit www.chiesi.com
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