Pharmacy supplier community addressing critical needs in Texas, Louisiana

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Pharmacy supplier community addressing critical needs in Texas, Louisiana

By Michael Johnsen - 09/05/2017

HOUSTON — Retailers serving the communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey aren’t the only consumer groups reaching out to their neighbors, the vendors who stock retail shelves with merchandise are similarly addressing the needs of Texas and Louisiana citizens in the week following the flood-driven devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.

For example, higi leveraged its nationwide retail health station network and its unique technology platform against relief efforts for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “This past Tuesday as the storm continued its devastating blow, retail partners hosting 10,000+ stations across the country rallied together with us to immediately begin carrying a Red Cross PSA for donations towards crucial recovery programs,” Jeff Bennett, CEO higi told Drug Store News. “We’re now working regionally with retail partners impacted by the storm to help them restore access to products and services to mitigate serious health issues. Throughout the long recovery ahead, we’ll be using our unique set of in-store and digital assets both nationally and locally to connect victims with the health and wellness resources they need.”

“What we’ve seen happening in Houston and other parts of Texas and Louisiana this week is incredibly distressing, and our hearts and prayers are with all of those who have lost loved ones and those who have been otherwise affected by these tragic circumstances,” stated Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands. “I am encouraged by the countless acts of selflessness, kindness and humanity from people across the country who simply want to be of service in such a critical time. I challenge and implore all of us to maintain this focus and effort beyond the immediate crisis phase and commit to understanding what will be necessary to helping these communities rebuild in a sustainable way – and what role we can each play in their ongoing recovery.”

Following are some of the CPG manufacturers efforts to help those impacted by last week’s hurricane:

  • Aurobindo helped supply the Dispensary of Hope, a non-profit pharmaceutical distributor whose mission is to create pathways for donated medicine to reach individuals in need, with needed medicines including heart remedies and antibiotics;

  • Similarly, in addition to working with Dispensory of Hope, Dr. Reddy's has also donated medicines including OTC pain relievers and antifungal remedies to Direct Relief, another non-profit health agency that responds to areas struck by natural disasters;

  • Teva Pharmaceuticals USA also worked with Direct Relief to respond to the most pressing needs on the ground by supplying Teva products and medicines. At the same time, Teva has offered employees a platform to make a personal donation to the cause, with each donation to be matched by Teva;

  • Prior to Hurricane Harvey making landfall, two major pharmacies prepared Texas residents by sending 282,000 recommendations to refill their prescriptions, through the service provider West;

  • Surescripts and Allscripts collaborated on providing free access to patient-specific medication history data for pharmacists in Texas and Louisiana for a limited time. The initiative built upon similar efforts in response to previous storms. In 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Surescripts participated in a public-private initiative to build an emergency prescription database to provide pharmacies and clinicians access to patients’ prescription histories and allergies online. Allscripts contributed to Katrina relief efforts as well by making the ePrescribe solution available to clinicians caring for patients affected by the disaster;

  • J M Smith Corporation and its business units QS/1, Smith Drug Company, Integral Solutions Group, RxMedic Systems, Integra LTC Solutions and Burlington Drug Company all worked together to collect donations and needed supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Upon receiving word from relief organizations regarding the specific supplies needed, employees banded together to collect water, adult diapers and other supplies. Additionally, J M Smith Corporation and the J M Smith Foundation both agreed to match monetary contributions made by employees, effectively tripling the impace contributions will have in the affected areas;

  • Sundial Brands’ Sofi Tucker Foundation made an unrestricted cash donation of $50,000 to its humanitarian relief partner Direct Relief, which is currently providing emergency relief efforts on the ground in Houston and surrounding areas, as well as parts of Louisiana. Sundial also announced that it will be donating approximately $160,000 in haircare and skincare products;

  • Procter & Gamble’s Tide Loads of Hope Mobile Laundry Unit has been deployed to support relief and recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Residents can bring clothes (up to two loads per household) to be washed, dried and folded free of charge for those directly impacted by the hurricane;

  • AmeriCares and Heart to Heart have both begun distributing 25,000 Johnson & Johnson hygiene kits stocked with soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other personal care items to emergency shelters and aid distribution centers;

  • Guy & O'Neill, a manufacturer of household cleaning supplies and personal care products, is donating disinfecting wipes, bath wipes and other personal hygiene products to aid Hurricane Harvey Relief and Recovery. The commercial retail value of the products being sent down there is roughly $200,000;

  • SlimFast organized a two-part 80,000 pound donation to aid in the disaster relief effort. SlimFast announced that it will be shipping ready-to-drink meal shakes and 100-calorie snacks. This first full truckload of product is destined for the Houston Food Bank, which will serve those hardest hit by Harvey in the Corpus Christi, Beaumont and Galveston areas. Furthermore, SlimFast will also be donating a second full truckload, delivered with its partner retailers, Walmart and Sam's Club. Those meals and snacks will soon be delivered to the American Red Cross in Houston;

  • To ensure patients have continued access to Pfizer medicines, Pfizer has implemented disaster relief protocols at Pfizer RxPathways, a service that connects patients to the Pfizer assistance programs that may be right for them.  If a medicine provided through the Pfizer Patient Assistance Program has been destroyed or lost, or patients who are enrolled are unable to reach their doctors’ offices and need their medicine shipped to an alternate location, Pfizer helps deliver those medicines to the patient;

  • The Nature’s Bounty Co. has provided almost $500,000 in protein bar and ready-to-drink nutrition beverages to local charities. In addition, The Nature’s Bounty Co. has partnered with its Texas-based retail customers to provide an additional $100,000 in product donations;

  • Nearly 100 trucks containing donations of Kellogg's cereal, Pringles, Kellogg's Nutri-Grain bars, Cheez-It crackers and Keebler crackers and cookies are en route to victims and their families. The donation is in addition to the company’s previously announced donation of one million serving donation of cereal and snacks, and a monetary donation of $100,000 from the Kellogg Company Fund;

  • The Coca-Cola Foundation has pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross. And the company is matching employee donations, up to $100,000, t