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April 6, 2020 - The world is facing an unprecedented human challenge with COVID-19, and this virus requires an unprecedented response. We face this challenge together, and we are doing all that we can at Medtronic to support the medical professionals we have worked with for decades to care for the COVID-19 patients who need our help.
At the same time, our families, friends, and co-workers are contracting the virus as well, and we are doing our part to care for and support them. This moment in our collective history is personal for us all.
Medtronic is mobilizing all of its assets to produce the products and therapies that can help COVID-19 patients and their caregivers. This includes ventilators, pulse oximeters, and ECMO machines in particular, and we are doing all we can to increase our production and distribution of these products around the world. We are working directly with hospital systems and governments to get our products where they are needed most as the virus spreads, and we are informed by the good work of our employees and partners in China and Asia who have been battling this virus for months.
As we confront this challenge, we do so with commitments and perspectives that drive our actions.
We are working 24/7; we are reallocating our people to critical product manufacturing; and we are increasing our overall production for COVID-19-related products. Other lifesaving products – pacemakers, heart valves, brain stents, and insulin pumps among them – are still needed, and our people continue to produce them. They do so at risk to themselves, and we are doing everything we can to protect them at work. We thank all of our 90,000 employees for their commitment and perseverance through this challenging time. Their passion and dedication for their work and for the patients who receive our products inspires us.
It’s not business as usual. We recognize that, and we will help you and support you as you need. We have deprioritized or postponed non-critical business activities, including training and education and clinical trials that do not support or that may interfere with COVID-19 operations. We will help where needed. Our commercial teams are the world’s finest, and they are eager to assist.
No one company can deliver all the products and supplies needed for this global pandemic. We will only defeat the virus by acting in unison, with smart and focused strategies for production, allocation and resourcing. To facilitate more ventilator supply, Medtronic has open sourced ventilator production on a key platform and is collaborating with companies in other industries to facilitate different aspects of ventilator production. We are optimistic these actions will bear fruit.
This is a global pandemic, and it requires global solutions. We look to government leaders and institutions around the world to collaborate on the equitable allocation of ventilators and other critical products to ensure they are available where and when they are needed. One Medtronic ventilator is composed of more than 1,500 parts from 100 suppliers in 14 countries, and so we need an open and unrestricted supply chain. Actions by one government to restrict the global flow of needed products can lead to retaliatory actions by others – impacting access to products by those who need them most. We will do all we can to assist, and we support government leadership and partnership across the globe at this critical time.
We will never compromise our integrity and, like we have done for seven decades, we will put the patient’s needs at the forefront of our decision making. We will not raise prices or pit one customer against another in a bidding process for these critical products.
We are inspired by the heroic efforts we see by healthcare professionals around the world to treat COVID-19 patients. But, we are not surprised. We see this heroism every day by these same professionals as they treat heart disease, diabetes, cancer and so many other health conditions. We thank you for what you are doing to save lives.
Our 90,000 employees, and the thousands of Medtronic employees who came before them, come to work every day with one common goal and Mission – to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life. That Mission has fueled our innovation and led to millions of lives being saved and improved.
We know this virus can and will be defeated, and we will do our utmost to make that a reality.
Our best to you and your families.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer