Direct Relief Airlifts 79,365 lbs of Emergency Medical Aid to Puerto Rico

By , in PR PR Health on .

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Dec. 19, 2017 — A Direct Relief-chartered aircraft landed Monday at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan with 79,365 lbs of medical aid requested by the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the territory's Primary Care Association, and more than twenty hospitals and clinics across the island that are still struggling with the effects of Hurricane Maria three months later.

79,365 lbs of medications, nutritionals and medical supplies from Direct Relief arrive at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. (Photo: Lara Cooper / Direct Relief)

The airlift contained nearly 40 tons of medications and medical essentials, amounting to $20.6 million (wholesale) in donated medications, nutritionals, and medical supplies. More than two dozen healthcare companies provided these items, which included extensive quantities of intravenous solutions and prescription medications for acute conditions and chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

“The airlift's arrival reflects the ongoing concern and support for Puerto Ricans from thousands of people, including those at the dozens of companies who have stepped forward to help,” said Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe.  “The need and importance of the medical and health resources for people who need them is obvious, but the fact that they are here only because people from all walks took some action is particularly meaningful during the holiday season.”

The following companies contributed donations of medicine, supplies and funding for the flight:
3M, Abbott, AbbVie, Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Amgen Foundation, Ansell Healthcare, Baxter International Inc., Bayer, BD, Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Dr. Reddy's Laboratories LTD., Essential Oxygen, GSK, Henry Schein, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Kaleo Pharma, Mylan, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Prestige Brands, Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Sundial Brands, Teva Pharmaceuticals, USA, Trividia Health, Vaseline, and We Care Solar.

“Amgen Foundation is proud to support Direct Relief's tireless work to meet the ongoing health needs of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” said Eduardo Cetlin, president of the Amgen Foundation. “Direct Relief continues to play a critical role in fulfilling the need for medical resources following the storm, and our support of their efforts reflects our commitment to the people.”

Since Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, Direct Relief's private assistance efforts have totaled over 218 tons (423,644 lbs) of specifically requested medical essentials valued at more than $52 million wholesale to bolster the health system and enable care for Puerto Rico's residents.  Direct Relief has provided these resources via 181 deliveries to more than 50 nonprofit health centers, public health facilities, emergency medical teams, and locally run nonprofit organizations focused on diabetes, vaccinations, and women's health throughout Puerto Rico.

About Direct Relief
Established in 1948 with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world—without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities, or ability to pay. With operations spanning more than 70 countries and all 50 states in the U.S., Direct Relief is the only charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, was listed among the world's most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, and has received the CECP Directors' Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, and the President's Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping. For more information, please visit

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SOURCE Direct Relief

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Brad Bennett

Brad Bennett

Brad grew up in a small town in northern Iowa. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their five young children.
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