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Helping those affected by the 2017 hurricane season

Holly Campbell   |     August 31, 2017   |   SHARE THIS

This post has been updated as of 10/30/2017 to reflect relief efforts for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Given the unprecedented scale of the devastation and flooding caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, we wanted to provide information about the resources available for patients to access medicines as well as details about where to provide support and what some of America's biopharmaceutical companies are doing to respond to this tragedy.

Hurricane-Harvey.jpgTo support disaster recovery efforts, Healthcare Ready, an organization of private health care stakeholders and government response entities, is coordinating with local and federal agencies to ensure that medical gaps in the areas impacted by the hurricanes are addressed. Healthcare Ready’s Rx Open map has been turned on and will provide pharmacy status information for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Texas. Sign up for notifications to stay current on their activities here.

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is also helping connect individuals with patient assistance programs to replace lost medicines. Get prescription help here.

Here’s what some companies are doing to help and ways you can help support. We will continue to update this list.

  • AbbVie medicines were pre-positioned in 39 clinics across states and islands impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria through Direct Relief.  AbbVie and the AbbVie Foundation have committed more than $4 million in grant funding and product donations for disaster response following the hurricanes. Grants support partners working in the affected regions in the U.S. and the Caribbean, including the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Direct Relief International, Feeding America, Heart to Heart International, MAP International, International Medical Corps and Texas Children’s Hospital. Additionally, the AbbVie Foundation is matching employee donations to many relief organizations, including those listed above. Read AbbVie’s full announcement regarding hurricane relief here
  • Allergan plc announced that the Allergan Foundation will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. The Company is also working closely with Direct Relief International and MAP International to determine the need for product donations in affected areas. Read Allergan’s full announcement here.
  • Amgen Inc. announced that the Amgen Foundation has pledged $3 million to support urgent Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico and has committed up to an additional $2 million for longer-term rebuilding efforts. The safety of the more than 2,000 Amgen employees and their families on the island remains a top priority for Amgen, and outreach to impacted staff is ongoing. In addition, the Amgen Foundation has donated a total of $160,000 to Direct Relief to support their work assisting community health centers devastated by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and $40,000 to the American Kidney Fund’s Disaster Relief Program to assist dialysis patients in Texas and Florida. They are also mobilizing a disaster relief matching gift program. Read Amgen’s full announcement on their Hurricane Maria response here and read the Amgen Foundation’s statement on disaster relief efforts here.
  • AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP has made a national corporate contribution to the American Red Cross as part of their Corporate Disaster Responder program, and they are making a $100,000 contribution to Americares in support of their efforts specific to Hurricane Harvey and the Gulf Coast. AstraZeneca employees wishing to contribute support either financially or through volunteer efforts may do so through the company’s employee giving program. Employee donations to eligible U.S.-based organizations (such as the American Red Cross and others) will be matched at 100% by the company, and AstraZeneca employees may be eligible for paid volunteer leave at the discretion of their manager. Additionally, AstraZeneca is working with Americares and Direct Relief International to determine need for product donations with medicines prepositioned for use in the Gulf Coast.
  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. plans to host an employee fundraiser and match all funds raised towards Harvey relief efforts up to $10,000. Their partner for this endeavor is Americares.
  • Bayer is committing $100,000 to Direct Relief International and $100,000 to the American Red Cross. This new donation is in addition to the $100,000 that Bayer provides to the American Red Cross annually for disaster preparedness. They are also working closely with non-profit partners to determine the need for product donations in affected areas.
  • Biogen announced that the Biogen Foundation has initiated their Disaster Response enhanced matching gift program. Between now and Friday, September 8, when U.S. Biogen employees make a contribution of $50 or more to the American Red Cross, the Biogen Foundation will contribute $3 for every $1 donated. They have raised $170,000 and anticipate this amount to grow over the next few weeks.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation is donating more than $125,000, as well as product donations as needed, to support relief efforts. Included in that contribution is a $25,000 donation to a local organization that is assisting animals affected by the storm. BI Cares is also supporting Americares and Direct Relief International, and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has activated their Disaster Aid Program to provide aid for their veterinary customers that have severe damage or total loss of ability to practice in their facilities due to this disaster. Additionally, BI employees have raised over $30,000 for Americares, and the company has added special patient-centric provisions to their BI Cares Patient Assistance Program that allow enrolled patients in the Hurricane Harvey affected areas to obtain the medications they need urgently in order to stay adherent.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is donating medicines with a wholesale value of $10,414,000 to a network of the company’s global relief partners to support their efforts. In addition, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has donated a total of $2.1 million to hurricane recovery efforts, supporting organizations such as Americares, the American Red Cross, the Central Florida Red Cross chapter, the Puerto Rican Red Cross chapter and Direct Relief International. Additionally, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is matching U.S. and Puerto Rican employee donations to all eligible organizations working on the relief efforts. Read Bristol-Myers Squibb’s full announcement here.
  • Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. provided direct financial assistance to the American Red Cross, and supplies of certain Daiichi Sankyo hypertension medicines recently donated to Americares have been sent to the super shelter in the Roger Brown convention center to assist individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey. Daiichi Sankyo employees wishing to donate to Americares toward the recovery effort may do so through a special Americares microsite set up for Daiichi Sankyo. Donations to Americares and other qualified non-profit organizations will be matched through the company’s matching gift program.
  • Eli Lilly and Company and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation have committed nearly $7 million in medicines and more than $1 million in cash in response to the 2017 hurricane season. Earlier this year, Lilly donated medicines to Direct Relief International as part of the organization’s hurricane preparedness program. Lilly also donated 20,000 units of insulin and other diabetes products in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma and is matching employee donations through the foundation. In Puerto Rico, Lilly is working to meet the urgent needs of its employees and their families, including financial assistance for shelter. Lilly flew an emergency shipment of insulin and supplies to Puerto Rico on September 24. The shipment included nearly 2,400 insulin vials and pens, which will treat about 1,000 people for 30 days. It also included glucagon and emergency supplies for employees, including food, water, batteries, generators and childcare items such as diapers. The company continues to monitor the situation in all of the affected communities and will consider additional action to help people in need.

  • EMD Serono made donations to the Red Cross and Houston Food Bank to support relief efforts. In addition, EMD Serono employees have been directed to official channels to provide assistance on their own, using the company matching program for further impact.
  • GlaxoSmithKline announced a pledge of $1 million to support relief efforts in Texas. These funds will be distributed over time to agencies supporting the relief and recovery in impacted communities. Working with Americares and Direct Relief International, GSK is also providing critical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey. GSK has a longstanding global commitment to supporting NGO partners in disaster situations including a $2 million grant to fund a joint Save the Children-Columbia University National Center for Disaster Preparedness three-year initiative to help US communities better prepare for disaster situations like that impacting the Houston area. Through GSK’s partnership with Save the Children, hundreds of thousands of employee-raised funds have gone to support their response to emergencies such as Hurricane Harvey.  All of these funds and other employee donations to relief organizations are fully matched by the company. 
  • Johnson & Johnson is working with three key partners on the ground in Texas: Americares, which is providing medicine and medical assistance to emergency shelters; Heart to Heart International, Inc., an organization that is deploying a mobile medical unit and supplies; and Save the Children, dedicated to children’s health and well-being. Americares and Heart to Heart are distributing 25,000 Johnson & Johnson hygiene kits stocked with soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other personal care items to emergency shelters and aid distribution centers. Johnson & Johnson customer and logistics services and supply chain teams are working to ensure a reliable supply of products, and their DePuy Synthes regional trauma teams are on the ground working to identify customer needs throughout the region. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson employees in the U.S. are also encouraged to donate through “Click to Care,” the J&J employee giving program in which donations to the company’s disaster relief partners and many other community organizations are matched at a two-to-one ratio. And, for every photo donated through their Donate a Photo app, Johnson & Johnson gives $1 to Heart to Heart International, Inc. That $1 allows Heart to Heart to distribute critical hygiene items to survivors in Texas, and it takes 10 photos to provide hygiene items to one Hurricane Harvey survivor. Donate a Photo is a free app and is available at app stores for both Droid and iPhone devices. Read J&J’s full announcement here.
  • Lundbeck is donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross and is matching employee donations to disaster relief up to $10,000. Lundbeck will also make additional donations to support their various disease communities impacted by the hurricanes, including $25,000 to the American Epilepsy Society to help support patients in affected areas, $25,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to provide NAMI affiliates with assistance to support individuals and families affected by serious mental illnesses devastated by the hurricanes, $25,000 to the Alzheimer’s Association to help support individuals and families impacted by the storms, and $25,000 to the Parkinson’s Foundation to help those with Parkinson’s affected by the hurricanes. Lundbeck has made an additional $25,000 donation to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in Puerto Rico and is shipping epilepsy products to a major hospital on the island that is in need of supplies.

  • Merck & Co., Inc. has put forward a collective effort to help those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The company’s initial support was through the annual disaster relief support to the American Red Cross in the amount of $600,000, allowing the Red Cross to move quickly to respond to these and other disasters. Merck also announced a donation of $1 million to the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund as part of the “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” television fundraiser, and provided an additional $250,000 in grants to Direct Relief, Americares, Project HOPE, Save the Children and World Vision. In addition to financial support, Merck has donated over $2.7 million worth of medicines, vaccines, animal health products, services and professional/technical support, which have already arrived in the affected areas.  Merck is matching 100% of donations from U.S. Merck employees to eligible nonprofit organizations directly supporting relief efforts. For further updates, see http://www.merck.com.
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation equipped associates with emergency preparedness resources prior to the hurricane’s arrival and is now working to provide additional support to displaced associates, including using travel resources as an additional means to help associates evacuate from the affected areas and offering the Fort Worth campus as a safe place to work, shower and eat. They are also working to implement business continuity plans to ensure patients and medical professionals have continued access to medical devices and pharmaceutical products. In addition, they are donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, and are donating over $1 million in product donation to support impacted patients. Lastly, Novartis’ associate donations will be matched $1 for $1 with a maximum of $5,000 per associate per year across all giving programs. To date, employees and company match contribution to the disaster totals over $144,000. Employees will continue to make employee contributions to the disaster efforts during the company’s annual six week Charitable Giving Campaign that kicks off in October.
  • Novo Nordisk Inc. is working on the ground with long-time disaster relief partner, Americares, to donate products (including medicines) to non-profit organizations. The company is dedicated to providing relief to impacted employees in the form of time off, product assistance, household relief and financial assistance as necessary for clothing, food and other items. They are also matching employee contributions to the American Red Cross and are pledging $150,000 to the local Houston Health Foundation. Read more about Novo Nordisk’s efforts here.
  • Pfizer Inc. announced that a comprehensive disaster relief effort has been implemented, including the following activities: (1) the Pfizer Foundation has made significant cash grants to key organizations leading relief efforts on the ground, including the American Red Cross, World Vision, and Americares. (2) The Pfizer Foundation has implemented a special one-to-one to match for cash donations made by Pfizer colleagues to the American Red Cross for the relief efforts during the next month. (3) Donations of Pfizer prescription and consumer products are currently underway through Direct Relief and Americares, and Pfizer is prepared to make additional product donations to these organizations and others as needed. (4) Disaster protocols for its patient assistance programs in the affected areas have been activated:  waiving financial documentation requirements for new patients; allowing existing patients to request refills earlier; and enabling hospitals and clinics that participate in its bulk replenishment program to request additional product to replace inventory lost in the storm and/or to meet increased demand.
  • Sanofi US products, mostly insulin product and tetanus vaccines, were pre-positioned through our NGO partners, Direct Relief International and Americares, prior to the storm. Sanofi is currently fulfilling additional requests for insulin product and tetanus vaccines, and is expecting additional product requests from our NGO partners. Sanofi is also evaluating our over-the-counter portfolio to benefit World Vision’s hygiene kits. Counselors with the Sanofi Patient Connection program are assisting with replacement product needs for program patients impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Sanofi Foundation for NA is donating $225,000 across Direct Relief International, Americares and Heart to Heart International, and the company is providing a special matching donation campaign through the end of September for employees, separate from their year-round program, to benefit the American Red Cross.  We have reached out and are assisting our employees in the impacted areas.
  • Takeda announced that it plans to provide $20,000 in grants for Hurricane Harvey disaster relief to the American Red Cross.  Takeda also is matching employee donations from its 5,000 employees across the U.S. to disaster relief organizations.
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals is working with the nonprofit organization Direct Relief to donate prepositioned and as-needed products. Additionally, Teva is working with the American Red Cross to offer global employees a donation platform through which donations will be matched by the company.
  • UCB’s patient- and healthcare provider-facing service center, UCBCares (1-844-599-CARE (2273)), is available 24/7 to take calls from patients in the affected areas in need of medicine as well as coordinating with local infusion centers and pharmacies to ensure continuity of care for patients. UCB is a proud supporter of the Red Cross and is kicking off an employee contribution drive to support Red Cross as well.
Holly Campbell

Holly Campbell Holly Campbell is a deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on the cost and value of medicines. Prior to joining PhRMA, Holly worked for large and small public relations firms where she provided strategic communications counsel, media relations and partnership expertise to health care and pharmaceutical clients. In her free time, she enjoys taking barre classes, trying new restaurants and spending time with Boss and Poppy, her rescue pups.

Topics: PhRMA Member Company, Partnership for Prescription Assistance

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