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Team Sweden´s virtual visit to AstraZeneca Portugal

18 June 2020

On Thursday the 18th of June, Team Sweden had a virtual meeting with AstraZeneca Portugal to learn more about their operations and how they are managing during the current COVID-19 outbreak. As a pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca has been at the center of the current pandemic and they continue to support the Portuguese society throughout the health crisis. We learned about their actions to fight COVID-19 as well as their ambitious program to become the first climate-neutral pharmaceutical company in the AstraZeneca universe of companies and their achievement of becoming part of the restricted group of companies holding the distinction “Top Employer” in Portugal. 

The Embassy of Sweden and the CLS were invited to participate in a virtual meeting with AstraZeneca Portugal. Present to receive us were Carlos Sánches-Luis, Country President, Rosário Trindade, Corporate Affairs and Market Access Director, and Cristina Santos, External Affairs Manager. 

AstraZeneca is devoted to health and during the crisis, they dedicated significant efforts and work within four main areas of response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Research on monoclonal antibodies that have the potential to recognise, bind to and neutralise the SARS-CoV-2 virus, to decrease the impact of COVID-19
  • Investigating an existing oncology medicine as a potential treatment for COVID-19
  • Investigating an existing cardio-renal metabolic medicine as a potential treatment for COVID-19
  • The development of a COVID-19 vaccine after a landmark agreement between AstraZeneca and Oxford University 

AstraZeneca has already come quite far in the process of developing a vaccine against COVID-19 and is already in the phase of producing vaccines for human trials. AstraZeneca is working together with four European governments (UK, Italy, France, and Germany), under the supervision of the European Commission to ensure a broad and equitable supply of the vaccine to the world on a non-profit basis. 

AstraZeneca is working to make a difference in these peril times, and they are working closely with local markets to support the national health systems.

In Portugal, AstraZeneca sets out to protects patients and they have already delivered over 100 000 facemasks to the Portuguese healthcare system and the company has made €200 000 in donations to doctors and patients associations to increase information and knowledge of COVID-19 and how it spreads. This is especially important for patient groups who need medical care but may be reluctant to visit a doctor in time. 

Moving forward the company foresees that there will be increased pressure on the healthcare system due to the number of patients that remain undiagnosed as they are reluctant to seek medical care at this time. Due to this “health-debt”, AstraZeneca prepares for an increased demand for healthcare to persist even after COVID-19. To cope, they keep their organization effective and agile, to adapt to a fast-moving market. 

The organization of AstraZeneca is built to be agile. They are the first pharmaceutical company that has set an ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2025 and they aim to become carbon negative throughout their global value chain by 2030. This impact-driven attitude of improving patient lives and having a positive impact on the world is captured in the company culture. AstraZeneca has been certified as a “Top Employer” in Portugal. With their 140 employees, AstraZeneca in Portugal has a large scope of ages, with many millennials, and a majority of their leading positions being held by women. Throughout the crisis, they have not had any layoffs and with a team of impact-driven co-workers AstraZeneca is set to make a difference in Portugal, and globally.

It is truly remarkable to see how AstraZeneca has managed to rise to the occasion during this pandemic as a partner of governments, and a supporter of patient wellbeing. They lead the way and demonstrate how impact-driven businesses can change the world for the better. 

From the Swedish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, a big congratulations on your excellent work!


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