As Japan struggles to recover from earthquake and tsunami destruction, drugmakers have been helping with cash, medicines and supplies, according to Pharma Times.
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations reports the total cash value of assistance provided so far by its members already is $37 million. The majority of the donations are in cash, "as this form of aid is the most helpful according to non-governmental organization partners specialized in disaster relief."
Companies and their associated philanthropic foundations that have made donations include Abbott, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and Sanofi-aventis. Japanese firms Astellas, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai and Takeda are also contributing. The companies are using "long-established partnerships with expert medical and disaster relief organizations," IFPMA noted, including the Red Cross, Save the Children, AmeriCares, Direct Relief International and the International Medical Corps.
Eduardo Pisani, director-general of IFPMA, said, as “countless Japanese people are facing the daunting task of rebuilding their lives and cities... they are dealing with the immediate challenges of homelessness, hunger, contamination of drinking water with potentially life-threatening infectious diseases and coping with possible psychological health problems." Drugmakers "understand these threats and the difficulty of responding to them for the Japanese government and aid organizations."
The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association said it has sent 10 tons of drugs such as antibiotics, diabetes treatments and antihypertensives to Sendai and Hanamaki Airport via U.S. military aircraft. Most pharmaceutical companies operating in the country have reported their employees safe and they do not expect major disruption to their operations.