UCB’s response to the conflict in Ukraine
What is happening in Ukraine goes against everything we believe in at UCB. We cherish and demonstrate an unwavering respect for human life and dignity and we firmly stand behind the international condemnation of the aggression and violence that we have witnessed since the beginning of the conflict.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensifies, our despair about the violence and the devastating consequences increases. At the same time, we are reminded of past and current wars that receive less coverage but also have devastating effects and also go against our values.
In these difficult times, we are guided by our purpose of creating value for patients, now and in the future and our focus on contributing to a more inclusive and sustainable world. That’s why we are driven to limit the impact of this unfortunate war on our employees, patients and their respective communities.
We are fully focused on supporting the small group of UCB employees living in Ukraine, as well as their families, and we have foreseen emergency support for our colleagues.
We feel responsible to bring medicines to people living in Ukraine and Russia no matter how difficult the circumstances. We will do everything within our power to ensure patients have access to their medicines. This is extremely difficult because of disrupted supply chains. In spite of this, we continue to investigate short and longer-term solutions to ensure availability of our medicines in the region. We have a cooperation with NGOs such as Tulipe who are delivering drug donations to patients in the war zone. So far, we have donated 1.6 million of doses of anti-epileptics and 35,000 daily doses of antihistamines.
To support humanitarian efforts, UCB has donated EUR 300,000 to the German International Rescue Committee and the Belgian International Red Cross. We are also examining how we can support the communities in the region and those who have fled to safer places in the long-term, through our UCB Community Health Fund.
UCB is also collaborating with BEforUkraine, a Belgian non-profit focused on helping Ukraine in the most effective way possible. One of their activities is to bring essential equipment to Ukraine. UCB financed 10 refurbished ambulances, filled with equipment. The ambulances arrived early October.
UCB colleagues around the world are showing solidarity, helping in refugee centers, making personal donations to charities, setting up collection of essential goods at UCB sites, driving to the Ukrainian border to pick up relatives or friends and hosting Ukrainian colleagues and refugees in their houses or those of other colleagues. These are only a few examples. To facilitate this much-needed movement of solidarity, we have developed an employee volunteering initiative to enable our colleagues in Europe to lend a helping hand to this enormous refugee crisis.
UCB in Russia
UCB is still bringing medicines to patients in Russia but we have reviewed the way in which we conduct our business there. Profits generated in Russia will be donated to NGOs to help the people of Ukraine. We have already stopped enrolling new patients and are not starting up any new sites or clinical trials in Russia. We are no longer undertaking marketing activities and are exploring other steps we can take to support the sanctions.
We understand the weight of our responsibilities and we take them with great consideration. According to the United Nations, more than three million civilians have fled Ukraine and will ultimately need access to healthcare. This will require the careful coordination and collaboration of many stakeholders in the longer term. We are committed to playing our part in helping to provide a stable health environment where it is needed.