GSK falls in line with Big Pharma's reaction to Ukraine invasion, cutting off new clinical trials, donating profits and more
Just a few days after multiple Big Pharmas such as Bayer and Pfizer started the de-facto Big Pharma response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, other global players such as Novartis and Eli Lilly started to follow suit, pushing beyond its first tentative steps with a full-throated commitment to severing business ties with Russia wherever possible.
Now another one of the handful of holdouts is piling on: London-based GlaxoSmithKline. The pharma — helmed by Emma Walmsley — announced overnight that the company has taken a few actions in Russia, saying:
- We have already stopped advertising our products and will now move to stop promotion-related activities in Russia.
- We will move to prioritizing supply of products that are essential for people’s health while we can (and in compliance with sanctions).
- We are not starting any new clinical trials and will not enroll new patients into existing clinical trials.
- Any profits we make from our operations in Russia will be used in support of humanitarian relief efforts.
Several pharmas have already taken some sort action so far against the country, seeking to distance itself from Russia in some way. Novartis, Eli Lilly and AbbVie all said this week that they will tone down their business operations, joining a chorus of other Big Pharmas in taking action, such as cutting off investments, stopping or shutting down marketing operations, and in the case of Lilly, stopping the export of all “non-essential” medicines to the country, aka drugs like Cialis for erectile dysfunction.
While most big pharmas have announced slimming Russian operations in some way, Roche said earlier this week that it is continuing at least some of its operations in the country, saying that since their Russian colleagues play a role in access to medicine, the pharma will continue its operations there for the time being. However, a spokesperson told Endpoints News that new site activation and new patient enrollment is currently on hold in the country.
A couple pharma holdouts still remain, having not publicly commented on their plans for operations in Russia. AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim and Amgen did not respond to requests for comment before publication. But we’ll update you on their response as they arrive.