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I am a very cynical man, but even my black heart was softened a little by the efforts of companies big and small in response to the recent carnage in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. For an industry that is almost universally maligned and distrusted, it was good to see the pharmaceutical and biotech communities (both brand name and generic) come together to support the rescue and welfare efforts of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
While there are bound to be those who will see the donations of money and products as little more than a public relations ploy, I want to be one of the first to rise from my seat and applaud these efforts. Sadly, it is usually only in times of crisis that we see of what people and corporations are made.
Many companies are working through various pharmacies, like Walgreen's, Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart, and Sam's Clubs, to ensure that people get the medicines they so desperately need. Others have chosen to work through relief agencies like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way, and local governments to help evacuees and refugees get back to a sense health and safety. According to PhRMA, as of September 7, 2005, companies had donated nearly $45 million in product and cash to these efforts.
Thanks to each of you for your efforts to relieve suffering both in the United States and elsewhere.
Randall C Willis