The research-based pharmaceutical industry represented by the IFPMA is providing emergency aid to assist Pakistan in coping with the health consequences of the extensive flooding it is experiencing. The total value of assistance provided so far by IFPMA member companies*, including both cash and donation of medicines and other medical supplies, amounts to USD 3.33 million.
Mr. Haruo Naito, President of the IFPMA and President & CEO of Eisai Co., Ltd. said: “The widespread floods in Pakistan are contaminating many people’s drinking water and the resulting increase in illness is likely to place a major burden on the country’s healthcare resources. The Pakistani Government has reached out for help to different sectors of the international community, including the pharmaceutical industry. IFPMA member companies are responding with an increasing flow of donations, both of cash and urgently needed medicines and other supplies.”
Companies and their related philanthropic foundations which have reported making donations so far include: Abbott, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bayer HealthCare, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Lilly, Merck & Co., Inc., Merck KGaA, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Otsuka, Pfizer, Roche, sanofi-aventis, sigma-tau and Takeda.
The medicines donated by the industry so far are in the following categories requested by the Pakistani Government: antimalarials, gastrointestinal, antibacterials, antifungals, cardiovascular, ophthalmic, ear preparations, antiseptics, antiallergics, antifungals, parentals, analgesics, anti- emetics, diuretics, antidiabetics, anti-infectives, oral rehydration, topical antibiotics, anti-asthmatics, micronutrients, water purification and medical supplies. In addition, vaccines against cholera and typhoid fever have been provided, along with antivenin sera for snakebite.
To ensure that the assistance provided is appropriate and coordinated, companies are using long- established partnerships with a range of expert international medical and disaster relief organizations. These include UNICEF, the WHO, the World Food Program and the Red Cross/Red Crescent (via various national associations), as well as Action Medeor, Americares, CARE, Caritas, the French Foreign Ministry’s Crisis Center, Direct Relief International, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, the Japan Platform, Medical Teams International and Médecins du Monde. Local partner organizations on the ground in Pakistan include the Abaseen Foundation, the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Centre, the National Commission for Human Development, the National Disaster Management Authority, the National Rural Support Program, the Pakistan Medical Association, the President’s Flood Relief Fund and the Swat Relief Initiative, as well as the Pakistani Ministry of Health and other government departments.
In an emergency situation such as that in Pakistan, the groups which specialize in coordination of company medicine donations are particularly important partners for IFPMA member companies. These include International Health Partners (UK and Canada), the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (USA) and TULIPE (France). Their close working relationship with companies and international aid coordinators allows them to ensure that appropriate amounts of urgently needed medicines and medical supplies are shipped to the right places in Pakistan as quickly as possible.
Geneva, 17 September 2010