Keeping patients at the heart of our response to COVID-19

Listening to the needs of the people we serve to offer direct support and collaborative solutions around the world


As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, our purpose of pushing the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines to patients has become especially important.

During these unprecedented times, we continue to be guided by our Values – one of which is that we put patients first. Being proud to serve patients and considering them in every decision we make is how we bring this core Value to life at AstraZeneca.

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has patients at its heart. Watch this video to hear about the work we’ve been doing which is guided by our patient-first values. 

Many employees have been given leave to support critical volunteer initiatives in their communities. Respiratory physician and former clinician, Dr. Rod Hughes, who lent his expertise to volunteer at the acute medical unit at his local hospital, said “I’ve undertaken outpatient clinics and I’ve been speaking to patients at home who are obviously genuinely scared about coming to hospital and what getting COVID might mean.”

In the US there has been a 46% reduction in newly diagnosed patients across 6 cancers1 and there were an estimated 2.1 million deferred UK cancer screenings during the first 10 weeks of lockdown according to Cancer Research UK2. To understand this, we have been working with patient groups and listening closely to concerns about the disruption to cancer care services. We’re responding by co-creating a campaign with patient coalitions that encourages patients whose care has been interrupted, people with suspected symptoms and those who have missed a screening to take urgent action. 

Our work to put patients first will continue to be central to our global response to the pandemic.


  1. Kaufman, H., et al., (2020). Changes in the Number of US Patients With Newly Identified Cancer Before and During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. JAMA Network Open, 3(8), p.e2017267.
  2.  K Roberts, Over 2 million people waiting for cancer screening, tests and treatments Cancer Research UK (June 1, 2020) Accessed 09 November 2020