Japanese Pharma Association Opens Relief Headquarters for Quake Victims

17 March 2011 (Last Updated March 17th, 2011 18:30)

The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association has set up an emergency relief headquarters to help the people affected by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the country a week ago. The association's president, Yasuchika Hasegawa, has vowed to deliver eth

The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association has set up an emergency relief headquarters to help the people affected by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the country a week ago.

The association's president, Yasuchika Hasegawa, has vowed to deliver ethical drugs to the injured through healthcare personnel working on the site of the disaster.

"Quake victims who require medication are especially at risk, and it is easy to imagine their anxieties about whether or not they could obtain the drugs they need. We will work closely with the government, obtain the cooperation of pharmaceutical wholesalers and deliver the drugs,” he added in a statement.

Japan is home to four major pharma companies — Astellas, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai and Takeda — who have pledged millions of dollars towards the relief fund.

Most firms in the country have said that their staff are safe, but Eisai is still trying to account for about 50 people in a branch office close to the quake's epicentre.

Foreign pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim tweeted that it has suffered "huge damages" at one of its plants in Fukushima, but said that its priority was to ensure the safety of employees and their families.