All too often the pharmaceutical industry is portrayed as evil and greedy. In an attempt to correct this misconception or at least redress the balance a little, SRxA’s Word on Health is pleased to bring you news of its more compassionate side.
According to figures just released by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy poll, drug companies gave away more than $13 billion in cash and products last year.
More than half of the $2 billion increase in corporate philanthropy last year came from pharmaceutical companies donating medicine through their Patient Assistance Programs and investing in other initiatives.
While 40% of the 110 companies – polled annually for the past four years – boosted their giving last year by more than 10%, another 17% decreased their giving compared to 2009.
“One of the reasons we have seen for increased giving across the board has been increased funding to serve basic needs in communities where companies are working, and pharmaceutical companies, in particular, are in a really important position to do so,” said Alison Rose, the committee’s manager of standards and measurement.
Companies in the consumer staples, financial, industrials and information technology sectors also contributed to the increase in 2010 corporate philanthropy.
So where is all this pharma money going? According to the websites of the Top 5 global pharmaceutical companies examples of corporate giving included:
- Johnson & Johnson contributed $588.1 million in cash and products towards 650 philanthropic programs in more than 50 countries
- Pfizer contributed to numerous charitable projects worldwide including > $47 million for cancer and tobacco control and $7.5 million to HIV / AIDS prevention
- Roche notes that as a result of some of their 2010 initiatives 47,000 patients received free medicines, 1,100,000 infants were tested for HIV, 11,000,000 doses of flu vaccine were donated and 2,000 orphaned children were given primary healthcare and other services and assistance through support to the UNICEF & ECPP
- GSK among their many programs around the world, donated more than 1.6 billion tablets of a drug used to combat intestinal worms. In the US, GSK supported numerous cancer charities and provided health education in non-traditional venues for African Americans, Latinos and other ethnic minority communities and set up programs across six states to help high-risk and homeless children receive the specialist medical care they need.
- Novartis supports many programs both in the US and internationally. In the US alone, their patient assistance programs provided products worth $232 million to more than 100,000 patients in need. Additionally, they have provided free treatment for leprosy patients worldwide, leading to the cure of about 5 million patients since 2000 and has delivered more than 320 million treatments of its antimalarial drug without profit to several malaria-endemic countries
These are but a few examples of the type of corporate responsibility being shown by the pharmaceutical companies day-after-day. Ladies and gentleman of the Industry we applaud you.