So far, global pharmaceutical companies have donated or pledged to donate about $9 million in cash and an additional $15 million or more worth of drugs or medical supplies to Haiti earthquake relief. Some have pledged to match employee donations as well (see table below for up-to-date numbers). The cash donation represents about 0.4% of the daily global sales of prescription drugs (IMS estimates global drug sales totaled $750 billion in 2008 or about $2 billion per day).

In contrast, Cheap Joe’s Art Supplies — where I sometimes shop — pledged to donate 5% of the sales it made last Friday. Cheap Joe sent me the following notice by email last week:

If Cheap Joe can donate that amount relevant to sales, why can’t the pharma industry do it too? Even I can afford to donate that much. I just donated about 4% of my daily income to the Clinton/Bush Haiti Fund. A few dollars more and I will reach 5%!

Here’s my pharma Haiti relief tally so far (Feb 12, 2010):

pharma Haiti relief tally chart

If your company is not on this list, please let me know. If you have more correct, up-to-date data, also let me know. My email address is

P.S. Some companies (eg, Novartis) report a total contribution that includes the cost of drugs and medical supplies donated. Of course, those costs can be inflated manufacturers’ suggested retail prices (MSRP) rather than wholesale prices or typical market prices.

P.P.S. Generic drug manufacturer Teva just announced on CNBC that it would donate $7 million worth of drugs to Haiti relief. $7 million is 5-30 times what brand drug companies are donating. I wonder how they calculated that number? Maybe they used the MSRP of the branded versions of their drugs? But it’s all good.

P.P.P.S. Compared to pharmaco donations for the 2005 tsunami relief effort, the Haiti numbers seem small (it is estimated that total pharma tsunami relief was $170-180 MM). Here are some numbers from 2005 (see “Drug Companies Give Aid to Tsunami Victims“):

  • Pfizer will donate $10 million to local and international relief organizations operating in the region. Pfizer will contribute approximately $25 million worth of the company’s healthcare products which includes the anti-infective products Zithromax, Zyvox and Diflucan.
  • Merck & Co. Inc. is giving $3 million in cash while Johnson & Johnson and Abbott Laboratories Inc. are each donating $2 million; each of the three are also sending drugs and other health care supplies to the region. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is donating $1 million in cash and $4 million in antibiotics and antifungal drugs. Roche Group and GlaxoSmithKline PLC were also planning to donate supplies and/or cash.