Pharmaceutical companies donating millions to tsunami relief efforts

Nieuws van: FirstWord website
Drugmakers are stepping in to send millions of dollars in financial aid and medical supplies to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunamis that struck Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and other Indian Ocean nations, CBS MarketWatch and other news sources report.

Pfizer said it will send $10 million to local and international relief organisations and $25 million in products, which include the drugmaker's anti-infective drugs, Zithromax, Zyvox and Diflucan. "Pfizer is responding to this enormous tragedy through the donation of needed medicines, funds and logistical support to assist both in the immediate relief and the longer term management of the disease and health risks," Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell is quoted by the Boston Herald as saying.

Merck will donate $3 million in cash, news sources report. Additionally, the drugmaker's spokeswoman Anita Larson said that Merck is in discussions with the relief agencies to make a "substantial product donation," and will also match employee contributions, CBS MarketWatch reports.

Johnson & Johnson and Abbott are each donating $2 million, and will also send drugs and other health care supplies. Johnson & Johnson said it will send packages of supplies including wound care and pain-relief products. Abbott said it is sending antibiotics and nutritional supplements, the Boston Herald reports. Bristol-Myers Squibb is donating $1 million to the Red Cross and $4 million in medicines, such as its antibiotic Tequin, Bloomberg and other news sources report.

Roche and GlaxoSmithKline have also publicised their intent to donate supplies and/or cash, but have not yet specified the donations, as reported in Forbes and other news sources. - 3 jan 2005

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