Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Pfizer, Merck, and Eli Lilly Will Pay Their Doctors to Get Back to Treating Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Brian Orelli, PhD – Apr 2, 2020 at 12:58PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The pharma giants want to help any way they can, and that means letting their thousands of medical professionals go where they are most urgently needed.

By necessity, pharmaceutical companies usually have quite a few medical professionals on their payrolls. Those doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory techs and others don't treat patients on a day-to-day basis -- instead, they're focused on developing new treatments that could help patients in the future.

In normal times, that's a reasonable trade-off.

But these aren't normal times, so Pfizer (PFE 0.77%), Merck (MRK 1.09%), and Eli Lilly (LLY 7.48%) are allowing the thousands of licensed medical professionals they employ to volunteer to go back to serving patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. And those who do so will keep receiving their base pay from the companies.

Doctor in a face mask listening to the heart of a patient in a face mask

Image source: Getty Images.

Merck said it's supporting employees worldwide who want to serve medical needs in their communities. In the U.S., the company is working with The Health Management Academy to send volunteers to the areas with the greatest need.

Pfizer has created a new Global COVID-19 Medical Service Program to help its employees transition into positions where they can treat patients.

Some of Eli Lilly's medical professionals are already running a free drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. That facility is focused on testing front-line healthcare workers and first responders. The samples taken there, as well as those taken at healthcare facilities elsewhere in the state, are being analyzed at Eli Lilly's labs. And it, too, is giving its medical professionals the option to volunteer to work elsewhere treating patients. All three will keep those volunteers' positions open so they can return to their roles after the crisis abates.

"Right now the purpose of our industry has never been more clear and vital -- to bring the full force of our scientific and medical expertise to attack this pandemic around the world," Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said in a joint statement from all three companies.

Brian Orelli and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Merck & Co., Inc. Stock Quote
Merck & Co., Inc.
MRK
$86.78 (1.09%) $0.94
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
PFE
$44.43 (0.77%) $0.34
Eli Lilly and Company Stock Quote
Eli Lilly and Company
LLY
$334.38 (7.48%) $23.28

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
327%
 
S&P 500 Returns
105%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.