COVID-19 Information and Resources
Keeping you informed as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves
We’re taking steps to ensure the health and well-being of our employees and their families, the patients and families we serve, and the communities in which we live and work. Our actions have been, and will continue to be, driven by science, data and thoughtful policy approaches, as well as by empathy and compassion for those who are at particular risk from this virus. We must all work together to stem this pandemic.
Patients are the centre of everything we do at Vertex. We know you’re counting on us and we’ve taken steps to ensure a continuous supply of our medicines during this global health crisis. We have constructed our supply chains to ensure readiness for a wide variety of contingencies. We have built significant safety stock into our supply chain to manage potential disruptions, and we have ample supply to meet our commercial needs well into the future. We are highly confident in our ability to continue to supply all of our medicines to patients in the UK who rely on them. Additionally, the company's manufacturing facilities have remained operational and continue to produce new supply of our medicines.
For patients enrolled in our clinical trials, your health and safety is always our top priority, followed by our commitment to bring these medicines to people who need them as quickly as possible. We’re working closely with clinical trial sites and investigators across all of our programmes to provide any additional support or guidance they need related to COVID-19. For ongoing studies, we’re working with sites to enable virtual clinic visits and home delivery of study medicines to ensure study continuity and medical monitoring, and to facilitate study procedures. To reduce the burden on the health care system at a time of critical need, we are temporarily pausing enrolment in certain studies and may delay starting new studies — these delays will vary and will depend on the disease, stage of development and type of study. We do expect the coronavirus to have some impact on enrolment timelines in clinical trials, however, it is too early to quantify the specific impact at this time, which will vary from program to program based on the status of the trial and on the therapy being investigated. We remain committed to investigating potential new therapies for patients across all of our programs.
As this situation evolves, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. If you’re a patient or health care provider, please reach out to Vertex Global Medical Information at 0800 028 2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The health and safety of our employees and their families, and the patients we serve, remain our top priorities. All of our employees are essential, and together we have important work to do. We’ve taken proactive steps to adapt to the evolving pandemic, including shifting a significant proportion of our employees to full-time remote work and adapting our benefits and programs.
While the majority of employees continue to work remotely, some employees who need the building for their work continue to work on-site. For example, our colleagues at the Vertex Manufacturing Center (VMC) continue their outstanding work to ensure our facilities remain safe and operational and continue to produce new supplies of our medicines. As we start to safely increase capacity at our sites, we’re taking a phased and site-specific approach that is determined by closely monitoring local case trends and government guidance for each location. In addition to limiting population density at our sites, here’s what we’re doing to keep our on-site employees safe:
We’ve increased our safety measures by implementing temperature checks on arrival in conjunction with a daily safety questionnaire, launching a company-wide health and safety training, providing masks, enhancing our cleaning and sanitation protocols, providing hand sanitation stations at all entry points and implementing social distancing measures while on-site. Our cleaning procedures are being informed by best practices prescribed by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
We’re committed to flexibility and are working with on-site employees to find remote solutions for anyone who does not feel comfortable working on-site.
Here are just a few of the ways we’ve adapted our benefits and programs to support all of our employees:
If employees are unable to work due to potential or actual exposure to COVID-19, or if they need to adjust their schedule to respond to responsibilities at home, their time away from work will be paid and will not impact benefits, job status or paid time off (vacation or sick leave).
We’ve launched several mental health and wellness initiatives, including a free subscription to the Headspace meditation app for all employees globally and a dedicated “Healthy Mind” intranet site. The intranet site provides tools and resources for managing grief and dealing with stress and anxiety, including information about employee assistance programs and virtual consultations with medical professionals. It’s also a space for employees to connect with each other around their shared experiences.
We’ve added additional company-wide time off, because we recognise these unprecedented times and the challenges of balancing work, family and home responsibilities. We are also encouraging everyone to take paid time off as they typically would.
For employees who are working remotely, we’ve provided resources to set up work-from-home capabilities.
We’re proud of the strong culture of innovation and inclusion we’ve built at Vertex, and this has been evident in how our teams have responded to these unforeseen circumstances. We’re continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation and are regularly assessing whether our approach needs to evolve.
In addition to doing what we can for our Vertex employees, we’re taking action to support the broader communities in which we operate globally in relation to this pandemic. The Vertex Foundation has committed $5 million to support on-the-ground COVID-19 pandemic response efforts in our local communities. This includes just over half a million pounds worth of support to UK organisations:
- The Trussell Trust, to support its nationwide network of food banks and provide emergency food and support needed because of COVID-19; support the rapid scale-up a national e-referral system for access to and distribution of food parcels.
- Crisis, to provide small grants to local grassroots organisations providing healthcare, isolation-support, and the increased impact on services, and directly supporting the homeless in London for example providing “essentials” packages of food, tissues and hand sanitizers for the homeless.
- Age UK, to support people ages 70 and older who are worst hit by the epidemic physically and psychosocially – providing support to their 130 local groups across the country, and supporting the huge demands put on their helplines and national support through the epidemic.
The Vertex Foundation has also donated $1 million to Direct Relief, an organisation dedicated to providing essential supplies for health workers, such as critical personal protective equipment (PPE), N-95 masks, battery powered oxygen concentrators and ventilators. The Foundation’s donation will help seed Direct Relief’s European relief efforts, specifically in UK, Spain, France, Germany and Greece, and help the organisation expand its response in the U.S.