Agility and Flexibility Award *NEW FOR 2021*

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Accord; Ensuring the Supply of Essential Medicines During COVID-19

by The Comms Ninja for Accord Healthcare

Summary of work

COVID-19 changed everything. As demand for medicines was spiking, export bans came into force and borders were closed. The supply of critical medicines became a serious logistical and management challenge during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, as a leading supplier of medicines, a vast number of healthcare providers, intensive care units (ICU) and patients were relying on Accord to provide life-saving medicines at a time of desperate need.
Accord responded by undertaking a program of in-depth literature scanning and engagement with leading ICU physicians to build an exemplary understanding of evolving clinical needs. This was translated into focused activities to ensure rapid provision of repurposed medicines both to trials and the clinical frontline, winning many plaudits from health-systems and workers.
This approach facilitated the construction of a COVID-19 pharmacopoeia that was shared with the industry to ensure multiple producers were focusing production on the medicines of greatest likely need. The Accord team also developed an in-house epidemiological demand model, which was subsequently used pan-industry to better understand the likely surge in ICU medicines need, thereby reducing potential constraints in the supply chain.

To date, the program has successfully generated and leveraged data through newly established channels and partnerships with engaged stakeholders. The program has already successfully influenced clinical practice and policy at global, country and clinic levels via novel insights and targeted, patient-focused solutions. Adherence is gaining the attention it has long needed, and real-world outcomes will improve as a result.

Judges’ comments

This was a swift, decisive campaign that looked both internally and externally for change and improvement. It was incredible with what they achieved in a short space of time, with so many unknowns. Their concern over the mental health of their workers really impressed us and the whole team demonstrated the urgency of and commitment to what must be done. They kept one step ahead, had a good use of data to inform decisions, with good results. The complexity of what they navigated was really impressive