On November 20, 2020, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they have submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for BNT162b2, the companies’ COVID-19 mRNA vaccine candidate. If approved, some Americans could receive the vaccine as early as mid-December.
Through an accelerated clinical trial process, the potential vaccine demonstrated a 95 percent efficacy rate with no serious safety concerns to date. The companies expect to produce up to 50 million doses globally in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.
The companies have also initiated rolling submissions with regulatory agencies around the world. Upon authorization, the companies state that they will be ready to distribute the vaccine within hours.
Read Pfizer's announcement. Find out more about Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate from AP News, New York Times, and Washington Post.
Due to increasing demand for the program’s financial assistance, the individual grant award amount has been changed to $300 effective immediately. This adjustment will allow thousands of additional patients to receive meaningful financial support for nutritional needs while maximizing the reach of available funding as the number of people impacting by COVID 19 continues to accelerate.
To date, the COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program has helped more than 13,000 patients, including 1,000 emergency food deliveries made and over 12,000 financial assistance grants being provided to patients in all 50 states.
This innovative program is a collaboration between Team Rubicon (TR) and Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) and provides emergency food delivery and financial assistance to people living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Who is Eligible?
Patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis who have trouble accessing or affording food or other nutritional needs due to COVID-19, with eligibility established at the point of application in most cases.
For more information, including application instructions, click here.
Short-term recommendations have been made to the NCCN and ASCO guidelines regarding the use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), inclusive of pegfilgrastim-cbqv (UdenycaTM, Coherus BioSciences).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the updated NCCN and ASCO guidelines have lowered the threshold for the use of myeloid growth factors from those chemotherapy regimens which have a 20% or higher risk of febrile neutropenia to now include those regimens with a risk of 10-20%, which includes all of the intermediate risk chemotherapy regimens.
Read Prescribing Information
During this unprecedented time, Merck is committed to ensuring its medicines and vaccines reach its patients and customers. This includes supporting patients who might need more help today with their medications, including those who are unemployed or have lost insurance coverage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To learn about what support options may be available, visit Merck's Access and Patient Assistance information page.
For more details about Merck’s response to the coronavirus, visit its COVID-19 information page.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merck is focused on protecting the safety of its employees and their families, ensuring that its supply of medicines and vaccines reach its patients, contributing its scientific expertise to the development of antiviral approaches, and supporting healthcare providers and their communities.
Read the press release for more information on Merck's response to COVID-19.
Pfizer recognizes the strain that the COVID-19 pandemic is placing on patients and healthcare providers around the world, and is working with governments, international NGOs, and U.S.-based not-for profit organizations to respond to this pandemic by donating much needed medications and vaccines and working to support front-line health workers.
Read Pfizer's full response to COVID-19.
As critical and valued partners in the healthcare community in the U.S., Pfizer wanted to share its approach to the COVID-19 pandemic and changes it is making to best address your needs and those of the patients you serve. Pfizer is taking steps to ensure supply of its medicines and help halt the spread of this disease by developing antiviral therapies and, through a partnership, a potential vaccine for the COVID-19 virus.
Pfizer also recently announced a commitment of $40 million in medical and charitable cash grants to help address urgent needs of U.S. and global partners on the front lines of the pandemic.
Read Pfizer's full response to COVID-19.
In light of the developing situation around COVID-19, Bristol Myers Squibb would like to share immediate action they are taking to support the health and well-being of patients, customers, and employees during this time.
Bristol Myers Squibb is expanding its longstanding patient support programs to help eligible unemployed patients in the U.S. who have lost their health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded program offers access to BMS medicine for free.
Read the expanded patient support program overview.
The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has partnered with CancerCare to provide free local transportation to patients during the COVID-19 national emergency. This program will provide free transportation for patients to and from their community oncology provider. Working with a nationwide transportation provider, practices will be able to organize free local transportation to and from appointments in clean vehicles.
Community oncology practices must register to be part of this program. Simply fill out this form and COA will provide you with details on how to book travel for patients needing transportation.
Genentech takes the health and safety of its patients, customers, employees, and local communities very seriously, and are actively responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Genentech knows that needs will continue to emerge over the coming weeks and months, and they are closely monitoring and evaluating the situation as it evolves.
For more information on Genentech's response to COVID-19, please visit its website.