An Update on Ukraine from Daniel O’Day, Chairman & CEO
Daniel O’Day - March 24, 2022
Throughout the past weeks of conflict in Ukraine, Gilead’s focus has been on safeguarding our employees in the region and ensuring that people who rely on our medicines are able to receive them. Gilead has a long-standing presence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). Working with many partner organizations, we provide treatments and support to help people in the region with various diseases and conditions, predominantly HIV, hepatitis and COVID-19. We are now doing everything possible to ensure that this work continues. In a war where too many innocent people are suffering, we feel strongly that no individual should go without medicine that might save their life.
Our teams are working alongside distribution partners as well as humanitarian and non-governmental organizations to get our treatments to people who need them. Ukraine bears the second-highest number of HIV cases in EECA, according to UNAIDS. We are working with others to address the needs of Ukrainian refugees with HIV who are now in neighboring countries including Poland, Moldova, Czech Republic, Romania and Russia.
Beyond the provision of medicines, Gilead supports multiple partner and grantee organizations in the region that are dedicated to removing societal barriers to care. This includes our RADIAN program, for example, which works to raise awareness about HIV, reduce stigma and link people to testing and care. None of us wants to see any setback in progress for this critical work because of the war. Gilead is in ongoing contact with the various community-based organizations we support to see what additional resources or help they might need. To support the broader humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, the Gilead Foundation has donated $3 million USD and in addition, a matching-donation program for Gilead employees has raised $700,000 to date.
While we remain committed to facilitating patient access to our life-saving medicines in Russia, all non-essential business operations in the country have been suspended. Any profits made from the sale of medicines will be donated to the humanitarian efforts for Ukraine. The initiation of new clinical trial sites in Russia and Ukraine has been paused, and we are working with local trial investigators to see how we can best manage existing trial sites in affected areas. Again, we are fully committed to mitigating any impact on any patient, regardless of what country they are in.
It is shocking that we find ourselves witnessing these tragic repercussions of war, with so many people at risk, not just from the fighting itself but from the many implications of the conflict. We are committed to doing everything in our power to help while also fulfilling our existing responsibilities in the region. Ultimately, we are a company whose purpose is to help people live healthier lives and we will do everything possible to fulfill that purpose, working with others who share our aim.