News Release

Medical Professionals Across Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company Activate to Support Health Systems, First Responders and Patients Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

April 1, 2020

Three leading biopharmaceutical companies have announced programs enabling employees with medical and laboratory expertise to volunteer their services to local healthcare systems and those hardest hit by COVID-19.

Merck Pfizer Lilly

KENILWORTH, N.J. & NEW YORK & INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 1, 2020-- Merck & Co., Inc., (NYSE: MRK), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced medical service volunteer programs to enable employees who are licensed medical professionals to aid in the fight against COVID-19 while maintaining their base pay.

This new effort is one of the many ways that America’s biopharmaceutical companies are coming together to fight COVID-19. Together, these three major biopharmaceutical companies employ thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, medical laboratory technicians and other medical professionals whose services are in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these companies are expanding their existing corporate volunteer programs so that qualified employees who opt to serve can do so for a longer period of time than normally allowed.

  • Merck will support its employees around the world who are uniquely qualified to provide medical services and wish to aid communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the U.S., Merck intends to collaborate with The Health Management Academy to identify facilities with the greatest need and triage potential qualifying volunteers to serve.
  • Pfizer has created a new Global COVID-19 Medical Service Program that empowers medical colleagues to provide diagnostic, treatment, and public health support in the battle against COVID-19. Licensed medical professionals who feel duty-bound to provide their services during this crisis will now have a way to engage in the fight against COVID-19. Colleagues will continue to receive their full pay, benefits, and be able to return to their position upon completion of service.
  • Lilly is deploying its medical professionals to staff a free drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. The testing facility serves active frontline health care workers and first responders, as a service to the community and in an effort to protect people working on the front lines of this pandemic. Lilly scientists are using the company’s specialized research laboratories to analyze the tests, as well as samples taken in Indiana health care facilities, including nursing homes and emergency rooms, in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health. Lilly is also allowing trained medical professionals to volunteer in service of patients.

“COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges the global community will ever face, and our heroic health care professionals are, unquestionably, on the front-lines of that fight,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. “We are enormously grateful to them all, and it is our honor to be able to support our own employee volunteers who are joining them in caring for patients and communities affected by this pandemic.”

“At Pfizer, we employ some of the most dedicated and passionate medical professionals who have devoted their lives to combating disease and helping patients,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer, Pfizer. “During this unprecedented global health challenge, we are pursuing every option within Pfizer and with external partners to help fight COVID-19.  We believe that by unleashing our medical professionals to help relieve some of the burden being felt by hospitals, we can help make a real and important difference.  We support their wish to serve in this way and are grateful for their courage and selflessness.”

“Right now the purpose of our industry has never been more clear and vital – to bring the full force of our scientific and medical expertise to attack this pandemic around the world,” said David A. Ricks, chairman and chief executive officer, Lilly. “We’re honored to join our industry partners in deploying our expert workforce to help fight the virus, and our medical professionals stand ready to volunteer. We’re working together – and with partners around the world – to help our communities weather this storm and come back even stronger.”

About Merck

For more than 125 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases -- as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Pfizer Inc.: Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives®

 At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at

 About Eli Lilly and Company

 Lilly is a global health care leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and

 About The Health Management Academy

 The Health Management Academy (The Academy) brings together executives from leading health systems and partners to collectively address the industry's biggest challenges and opportunities. The Academy convenes executive peer-groups, provides world-class leadership development programs, conducts targeted research, and facilitates the development of strategic partnerships, in an effort to support the most progressive organizations shaping the future of healthcare. Visit to learn more.

 Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

 This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the recent global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (

Pfizer Disclosure Notice

The information contained in this release is as of April 1, 2020. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.

This release contains forward-looking information about Pfizer’s efforts to battle COVID-19 that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including uncertainties regarding the results of screening and the ability to meet anticipated clinical endpoints, commencement and/or completion dates for our clinical trials, regulatory submission dates, regulatory approval dates and/or launch dates, as well as the possibility of unfavorable pre-clinical or clinical data; the risk that clinical trial data are subject to differing interpretations and assessments by regulatory authorities; whether regulatory authorities will be satisfied with the design of and results from our clinical studies; whether and when drug applications for any potential antiviral compounds may be filed or approved in any jurisdictions, which will depend on myriad factors, including making a determination as to whether the product's benefits outweigh its known risks and determination of the product's efficacy; decisions by regulatory authorities impacting labeling, manufacturing processes, safety and/or other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of any such products; our manufacturing capabilities; and competitive developments. A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer's Annual Report on Form 10- K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results", as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at and

 Forward-Looking Statement of Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Ind., USA

 This release contains forward-looking statements regarding Lilly’s efforts in regard to the novel coronavirus. These statements are based on management's current expectations, but actual results may differ materially. Other risk factors that may affect the company's results can be found in the company's latest Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

Media Contacts:        

Patrick Ryan, Merck 
(201) 452-2409

Sally Beatty, Pfizer    
(347) 330-7867 

Scott MacGregor, Eli Lilly
(317) 440-4699