March 9, 2020

MWI Animal Health and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the MWI Animal Health team in the UK has been engaged with our partners and officials to identify if there is any imminent risk to the MWI Animal Health UK, including reviewing updates from the Chief Medical Officer daily.

MWI Animal Health is committed to maintain a transparent line of communication regarding issues that could impact our supply chain. We aim to minimise the impact of the outbreak on our services in close collaboration with our partners.

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely, proactively taking steps to help reduce the impact on services and on-time delivery, and will post updates here for our customers: 

March 10, 2020: As of March 9, 2020, AmerisourceBergen has issued guidance to our associates that they should avoid business travel through June 1, 2020. This includes meetings, conferences, tradeshows or events that require airline or train travel. We will also not host meetings, trainings, or events that require our partners to travel or gather in large groups and we have issued guidance limiting visitors to our locations worldwide. While we are deeply disappointed that we won’t be able to see our valued partners and customers in person at many of these events, we are a global healthcare organization and believe we have a responsibility to contribute to global efforts to contain and minimize the spread of COVID-19, as well as protect our associates, customers, the patients they serve and their families. 

Operational Update

There are currently no supply issues as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

What measures do you have in place to protect your associates?

  1. We have suspended all non-essential business travel including trade exhibitions and training meetings until after 31st March.
  2. We have implemented a home working policy for of our associates who can do so. This protects those whose roles require them to visit our site or yours.
  3. We have suspended all non-essential visits to MWI Animal Health sites
  4. We have provided hand hygiene stations for our associates at all MWI Animal Health sites and hand gels for remote workers.
  5. We are taking all steps to minimise contact with haulier’s delivery goods into one of our distribution centres. This includes asking hauliers for relevant information to risk assess the likelihood of cross-infection before being omitted to the premises.
  6. All our associates are abiding by the government advice around self-isolation. This includes but is not limited to;
  • Self-isolating for 7 days if they have a new persistent cough or fever.
  • Self-isolating for 14 days if a member of their household has a new persistent cough or fever.
  • As well as self-isolating for 14 days if they have returned from abroad. Our HR team our monitoring associate personal traveling and supporting our team members accordingly.

7. Our HR team are recording all associate personal foreign travel and ensuring associates self-isolate as necessary.

How are you reducing the risk to practices for essential site visits?

  1. Our field-based sales team have suspended making practice visits are instead offering telephone or videoconferencing as an alternative.
  2. Our technology implementation consultants are offering virtual training sessions.
  3. We are asking all veterinary practices to notify us if they have a team member that is suspected of having or is reasonably suspected of having come into contact with COVID-19 so that we can take extra precautionary measures, including contactless deliveries.
  4. Our drivers and technology installation teams carry their own hand sanitisers for use before and after visit or more frequently if needed.
  5. Our delivery drivers carry their own pens and will sign for your order if you instruct them to do so to minimise hand contact.
  6. We will not allow any associate to attend our site or yours if we believe they should be self-isolating in line with the government advice.

Do MWI receive any products from current affected areas?

MWI Animal Health UK does not receive products directly from China or other areas currently identified by the government as a potential risk. Many of our products are imported via a third party before reaching MWI Animal Health UK. However, some of the products veterinary practices use may have originated from or have components that originated from countries that are currently on the list.

Following the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), we believe the risk of the virus entering the UK through packages imported from overseas is low, as the virus would have to survive without a host organism for some weeks or even months during transit. For more information on receiving packages, read the WHO's Q&A on coronaviruses.

We are currently engaging with all our manufacturers to build a complete picture of this network of manufacturer and supply.

Do you anticipate a problem with the supply of any products as a result of COVID-19?

Aside from hand sanitiser, there is a significant supply of most finished products already available in the supply chain, which should be sufficient to fulfill demand even if product importation fluctuates slightly because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with manufacturers to understand their processes and lead times for supplying products. However, we currently have no reason to suspect there will be any disruption to the supply chain.

You may have heard of supply issues with Chlorhexidine and Povidine Iodine products. These supply issues are unrelated to the novel COVID-19 outbreak.

Where can practices get up-to-date advice, including information on infection prevention?

The World Health Organization website is kept up to date with the latest information and practical advice for the public.