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Industry does its part in wake of hurricane.

NEW YORK -- Individual efforts by employees and corporate contributions by generic drug manufacturers are providing vital relief services to the thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., for example, entered into an initiative with the city of Jackonsville, Fla., and the Association of Firefighters Local 122 (also of Jacksonville) to aid needy residents in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Contributions include pharmaceutical products--primarily antiinfectives--that can be dispensed by medical personnel to those injured during the hurricane.

The generic drug company's donations include packages of cephalosporin, semisynthetic penicillin, and cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and oral hypoglycemic agents.

At least 17,000 bottles of such products were initially made available, and more than two dozen semitrailers carrying the pharmaceutical products, as well as food and other supplies, were dispatched from Florida.

"We found the right partners in Jacksonville and, without hesitation, we knew we needed to make an immediate contribution to this humanitarian effort," says Dipak Chattaraj, president of Ranbaxy's United States operations.

Future efforts to provide support are also being discussed.

"These pharmaceutical products will be put to good use by the firefighters," adds Larry Peterson, divisional chief of the Jacksonville Fire Department. "We are happy to have the support of Ranbaxy."

Separately, Hospira Inc., a leading manufacturer of generic acute-care injectable products, contributed $250,000 to the American Red Cross through the company's Hospira Foundation. The foundation is also matching--dollar for dollar--financial contributions of Hospira employees, up to $50,000.

"Our employees hope that our donations will help restore health and wellness in this region," says Christopher Begley, chief executive officer of Hospira and foundation president.

Like Ranbaxy, Hospira (which offers over 100 generic injectable products in more than 600 dosages and formulations) is monitoring the situation and is prepared to respond with additional product donations.

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Title Annotation:Generic Drug industry pharmaceutical products donations
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 26, 2005
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