Pharmaceutical Community Rallies to Provide Disaster Relief

Posted by Pharmacist on November 20, 2012

As emergency workers and volunteers assist residents recover from Superstorm Sandy, many in the pharmaceutical industry are by their side to help relief efforts. In addition to the countless pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who have scrambled to restore order after the superstorm took out power and damaged or destroyed hospitals and storefronts, corporations are also offering a helping hand.


Rx Response is a partnership between drug and biotechnology manufacturing and distribution industries, hospitals and community pharmacies, and the American Red Cross created by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Its mission is to “help support the continued delivery of bio-pharmaceuticals and medicines to patients” during public health emergencies.


Rx Response has an online Pharmacy Status Reporting Tool that provides details on available pharmacies as well as tools to help individuals prepare for worst-case scenarios. According to company spokesperson Emily St. Martin Lord current initiatives include connecting pharmacies and distributors as well as an active effort to find fuel. Lack of fuel may be one of the largest hurdles post-Sandy, as suppliers struggle to get to pharmacies, and pharmacies struggle to get to customers. “Right now, our problem is getting gasoline for our cars,” Matt Ferranti of Nate’s Pharmacy in Staten Island, N.Y. told the Huffington Post.


Rx Response is also coordinating efforts to help those without power find local businesses that are sharing electricity so they can charge their medical devices and other necessary electronics, such as mobile telephones.


Retail pharmacies are also helping:

– Walgreens donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross along with three semitrailers stocked with bottled water;

– Target gave the American Red Cross $425,000 along with $50,000 to the Salvation Army and $25,000 in gift cards to aid those affected by the storm;

– Walmart promised $1.5 million in relief funds;

– Rite-Aid contributed $100,000 to the American Red Cross;

– Sears Holdings, which also operates Kmart stores, promised $350 million in rewards to Shop Your Way cardholders living in affected areas, or approximately $20 per person;

– CVS gave more than $100,000 to the American Red Cross along with $50,000 worth of bottled water and snacks in New Jersey


Additionally, drug manufacturer Abbott donated $1 million in funding and products

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