MSD navigates the pandemic tapestry in COVID-19 fight | Healthcare Asia Magazine
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MSD navigates the pandemic tapestry in COVID-19 fight

It has navigated the complexities of the challenging period through a proactive approach.

In the turbulent landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmaceutical company MSD's unwavering commitment to patients has set an extraordinary standard. Since 2019, the virus has affected over 700 million people globally, straining economies and healthcare systems.

To  overcome this colossal challenge, MSD, in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics developed an oral antiviral (OAV) for mild to moderate COVID-19 in at-risk patients prone to severe progressions.

In Asia, MSD designed a transformative programme with three strategic pillars: access, care excellence, and education.

At a global level, the company put a lot of effort in broadening OAV access through the provision of voluntary licenses. This addressed a pivotal need, extending crucial OAV treatment to at-risk patients, including those in low-income countries.

In addition to vaccines, it had also established the OAV as an important treatment option for at-risk patients. Recognising the critical role of government bodies and General Practitioners (GPs) in instilling confidence, MSD communicated OAV’s clinical efficacy and safety using clinical trial data and real-world evidence (RWE) and engaged stakeholders at medical briefings and government policy fora. This established the OAV’s role as part of the Asia-Pacific region’s COVID response strategy.

In Singapore and Malaysia, MSD worked with healthcare institutions to emphasise early testing, GP consultation, and treatment through targeted offline and online engagements.

In addition, in Australia, the company launched the "Plan for COVID" campaign. This multifaceted initiative not only raised public awareness, but also provided a supportive framework, empowering Australians in navigating the complexities of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. The campaign ingeniously delved into the emotional rollercoaster of awaiting COVID-19 results, resonating with individuals on a deeply personal level. In 2023, sensing the shifting sentiments of a pandemic-fatigued nation, MSD evolved “Plan for Covid” into the "Because Life Awaits" campaign. This initiative, emphasising the interference of COVID-19 with daily lives, employed a data-driven omnichannel strategy.

This successful campaign earned MSD the Marketing & Communications Initiative of the Year - Australia and the Patient Advocacy Program of the Year - Singapore category wins at the recently held Healthcare Asia Pharma Awards 2024.

“Our campaign, a testament to the power of strategic communications in global crises, goes beyond a mere initiative—it's a transformative force reshaping narratives and empowering communities for a post-pandemic world,” the company said.

Healthcare Asia Pharma Awards honours outstanding pharma companies in Asia that have demonstrated unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence and have redefined pharmaceutical excellence.

The Healthcare Asia Pharma Awards is presented by Healthcare Asia Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2025 awards programme and be recognised for your organisation's innovative and unique initiatives that enhanced your business and remarkable contributions to the pharmaceutical industry, please contact Julie Anne Nuñez at [email protected].

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