1. Learn more at progress.im/en/event/covid-19-content
The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on brain health as people struggle to cope with the pandemic and its effects. Throughout the pandemic, we have been fully dedicated to ensuring we can deliver our medicines to the people that need it most, and to maintain steady participation of our clinical trials and research activities to produce the scientific data we need to develop new medicines. Furthermore, we continue to work hard to raise awareness of the importance of brain health to society at large.
Impact of the Pandemic on Brain Health
The COVID-19 pandemic has significant consequences on brain health, both in terms of direct effects of the disease, such as neurological symptoms like loss of smell, extreme fatigue and memory and concentration difficulties. Some of these direct effects may persist long-term, and trigger indirect effects, such as depression or anxiety. These indirect effects can also be triggered by long-term isolation and lockdowns. While it is natural to want to draw learnings from past experience, but there is no parallel in recent history in terms of the scale and complexity of the current pandemic.
Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on brain health is essential for planning and executing a response to this and future health crises, and for designing resilient brain health services able to support patients during pandemics. We created an R&D COVID-19 task force and conducted a series of interviews and panel discussions with leading experts around the world, sharing their perspectives on how to best manage mental and overall brain heath during the pandemic1. We want to do our part towards building even more resilient brain healthcare services for the future.
Adapting Our Approach to Clinical Trials
In response to the unforeseeable nature of the pandemic and its impact on society, we are pursuing more flexible approaches our clinical trial operations. We make use of additional trial participating backup countries and sites as well as virtual resources, covering meetings and consultations where possible. We are including data from wearables, covering patient data and log keeping during trials. Using technology, we have also enabled remote assessments and visits during trials and digitalized the operational monitoring of trials, constantly keeping track of trials, participation rates, delays, and completions of studies and trials globally. This enables us to act quickly if unforeseen challenges impact trial operating countries or sites.
We have also established a temporary and agile cross-functional R&D task force in order to implement actions across trials and projects and give guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations before and during studies.
Safeguarding Product Supply
At one of Lundbeck’s production sites in Padova, Italy, the COVID-19 pandemic hit early, and it hit hard. Padova, alongside the rest of northern Italy, became the first part of Europe with a registered case of the new coronavirus. When the news broke that the virus had come to Italy, two key priorities guided Lundbeck’s response: keep our employees safe and maintain product supply to our patients.
The Lundbeck team in Padova quickly implemented a number of measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. With a significant amount of active ingredients being produced at the site annually, situational adaptability became crucial. Protective gear to for employees was quickly procured and a plan for maintaining distance between employees was put in place. We even started to produce our own hand sanitizer to make sure shortages did not become an issue. Furthermore, last minute shipments of raw materials, solvents and chemicals were secured, and while shipping of products became more complex and difficult to plan, Lundbeck did not miss a single shipment or agreed delivery.
An Organization That is Dedicated to Restoring Brain Health
Lundbeck is a global organization with operations all over the world. More than 5,600 dedicated people work in our more than 50 affiliates worldwide, and more than 7 million patients rely on our medicines every day. In order to keep doing what we do best, our number one priority has been, and continues to be, to keeping our employees safe and healthy. If we cannot keep our employees safe, we cannot produce the medicines that the millions of people rely on.
As a company focusing on diseases of the brain, we take our own people’s physical and mental well-being very seriously, and as a response to the pandemic, we have enforced our efforts in this area, and offer webinars, tutorials, courses and amplified management support. We have developed a new framework for flexible work, offering employees the foundation to plan and structure their work on an even more individualized basis, making sure that the needs at home and at work can be even better balanced.
1. Learn more at progress.im/en/event/covid-19-content
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