Novartis is monitoring the coronavirus situation with safety of associates and patients globally our primary concern. We are also responding to an industry-wide research and development appeal and have made a global commitment on the price of generic medicines.
As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, our primary concern at Novartis remains the health and safety of our associates and patients globally, and it is important that we protect them.
With that in mind, effective Monday, March 16 2020, all Novartis associates within Europe, US and Canada are requested to work from home, with the exception of those working in laboratories, manufacturing sites and in the field. This measure is valid for three weeks until April 3, 2020. We will continuously assess the situation and adapt accordingly.
Some governments around the world are providing local guidance that is stricter than this Novartis global guidance. In those cases, the local guidance takes precedence.
Given the nature of some of the work undertaken at Novartis, it is not possible for everyone to work remotely. By reducing the numbers of associates visiting our sites, we can protect those employees who cannot work offsite.
In addition to the measures above, Novartis has updated its general international travel restriction. All international business travel requires approval from an executive level manager, in alignment with local authorities.
Novartis remains responsive to any developments regarding coronavirus and will take all necessary steps to protect its associates and patients as the situation evolves.