Making Medicines: We Have Adequate Supply Across our HIV, Hepatitis Portfolios

Reza Oliyai - March 22, 2020

We have received phone calls and emails from patients around the world over the past several weeks wondering whether we are facing shortages of our HIV medicines and other products as the coronavirus outbreak worsens. The answer to this question is a firm no.

Our commercial supply chain is robust and resilient with the right processes in place, geographic diversity in our supply chain and enough of the materials required to make our medicines. We have done this purposefully and carefully to enable continued supply of Gilead’s medicines in a challenging situation like the one we face today. As a result, we are not seeing, and we do not anticipate, shortages of Gilead marketed products in the foreseeable future.

At Gilead, the Pharmaceutical Development & Manufacturing organization is responsible for sourcing materials and making our medicines. I am a member of this group and want to share with you the steps we’ve taken to ensure adequate supply of our products.

Risk assessment

Gilead applies a risk assessment process across our supply chain. While we focused mainly on potential natural disasters or geopolitical risks, we also looked at potential disruption to logistics in the regions around the world from which we source our materials. This planning prepared us for a situation like the one we are experiencing today as a result of coronavirus and has ensured that we have the processes in place to manage through this challenge without facing disruptions in our supply.

Geographic diversity and redundancy

We aren’t dependent on any one region or country to make our medicines – and we have numerous redundancies built into our systems. We have created a diverse network of suppliers and manufacturers. If we face disruption in one region, we can tap into supply in a different part of the world. We work with best-in-industry partners in the U.S., China, Korea, Europe and Canada, and we are also leveraging our own internal manufacturing capabilities. We are closely monitoring the situation and are not seeing disruption in our networks.

Adequate supply

Manufacturing drugs requires a number of components: raw materials, reaction intermediates, drug substance, drug product intermediates and bulk drug product. When manufacturing is complete, we have finished goods – packaged and labelled and ready for distribution. We have recently increased our supply levels for each of these components and our inventory levels are robust across the individual components and for finished products. Our own manufacturing facilities, as well as our contract manufacturing partners, are operational and have sound business continuity plans in place. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are confident in the infrastructure we have built.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused significant uncertainty for many of us. During this time, we want the individuals who depend on our HIV and hepatitis medicines to know that they do not need to worry about shortages of Gilead medicines.

Reza Oliyai is the Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical and Biologics Operations at Gilead.