McKesson Canada’s Response to COVID-19

As a key part of Canada’s healthcare system, we know we have a critical role to play in making medications and supplies available to customers and patients when they need them.

We recognize our role is even more important at this moment, and is one we take seriously every day and even more so right now as the world faces this unprecedented pandemic.

We are taking all the necessary steps to make sure that we do everything we can to continue to supply our customers and protect the safety of our employees. We’re working tirelessly to address new developments as they occur. We are in close contact with public health officials across Canada to ensure we are well-prepared to address our customers’ evolving needs so that they can best care for their patients.

We will continue to provide updates here as they become available.


COVID-19 Preparedness

Our Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 closely. We are working with government health agencies and local authorities to make sure we have the most relevant information as soon as it becomes available.

The Government of Canada has put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act, which applies to all travelers arriving in Canada. It has significant fines for not obeying mandatory self-isolation guidelines and recommendations for best practices upon arriving back in Canada. Please review the details on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) website here.

To further protect those around you, all Canadians are advised by PHAC to:

  • stay at home unless you have to go to work

    • talk to your employer about working at home if possible

  • avoid all non-essential trips in your community

  • do not gather in groups

  • limit contact with people at higher risk, such as older adults and those in poor health

  • go outside to exercise but stay close to home

  • if you leave your home, always keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from other

    • household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled in the last 14 days

  • If you start having symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible, and refrain from visiting the workplace or public places. Immediately call a health care professional or the public health authority in the province or territory where you are located.


Supplies of Medications

We know that the potential for drug shortages or supply disruption is an area of great concern to our customers. To that end, we are actively working with manufacturers to identify shortages and are in constant communication with them. As potential shortages or disruptions of products are identified, we’re acting swiftly to ensure supply continuity. These actions include:

  • Securing additional product

  • Sourcing back-up

  • Engaging suppliers in allocation strategies to ensure equitable distribution

  • Implementing ordering restrictions and limits on certain products

  • Business continuity planning to maintain and protect operations across all locations and facilities

Our top priority is securing a stable supply chain for healthcare products in Canada, while protecting the health of our employees and customers. We are protecting our supply chain by closely monitoring any delays that might occur in manufacturing finished products due to the availability of raw materials and/or active substances that might have been impacted by all transportation networks, as well as labour disruptions within Canada. We are also working closely with our manufacturing partners to implement ordering restrictions on certain products, while promoting responsible ordering and industry best practices.

For the latest and most up-to-date information, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada's web page on COVID-19


Protecting our distribution centre employees and operations

We’re actively monitoring regions where COVID-19 has spread and have continuity plans in place to help protect our employees, which in turn will preserve our ability to continue serving our customers. If a McKesson Canada distribution center must close, including one that provides specialty medications, we currently have the ability to fill orders at one of our other distribution centers.

We are taking broad steps to address COVID-19 and, to protect employees and customers. These include:

  • Working with public health organizations and policy stakeholders to boost awareness of emergency preparedness efforts and capabilities.

  • Rolling out a targeted and enhanced employee support program for front line employees who are playing a key role in supporting patients and customers in this time of unprecedented need. 

  • The program includes access to financial, social, and healthcare support initiatives such as telemedicine, that are additive to an already compressive set of benefits.

  • We are introducing an expanded Employee Relief Fund, and a special 10 paid working days leave for any employee who needs to self-isolate for reasons related to COVID-19.

  • We also have implemented safeguarding measures for our employees, including:

    • Mandatory PPE to be worn inside distribution centres;

    • COVID-19 screening measures upon entry into facilities;

    • Visual information symptom guidelines posted throughout distribution centres; and

    • Handwashing stations and hand sanitizers


Protecting our customers

Please be reassured in knowing that we take all preventative and proactive steps to keep our workplace safe and healthy. Customers should also continue to practice good hygiene measures during COVID-19, in addition to the protocols we have implemented. As a team, if we identify a positive COVID-19 case our protocol is to:

  • Contact all employees and third-party carriers who may have had contact with the individual and offered appropriate support.

  • Procure a specialized third-party sanitization firm to deep clean the area of the distribution centre the employee was working in, as well as key contact points and common areas inside the facility.

  • Ensure our protocols are reviewed and approved by expert hygiene specialists as per the McKesson Canada COVID-19 response strategy.

  • Sanitize all delivery totes / products that may have come into contact with the individual.

We continue to take proactive steps to protect employees, patients, customers and healthcare partners. We have enhanced our cleaning and sterilization practices within our distribution centres in response to COVID-19, including with respect to totes. Our transportation partners and drivers are also extra cautious while handling products during routes. Our drivers no longer bypass hospital pharmacy receiving areas during deliveries and have modified Chain of Signature protocols to become aligned with Health Canada’s new recommendations.