Biopharmaceutical Industry-Led Community of Hope Charity Event Helps Veterans

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The pharma industry today is often the whipping boy for industry critics. These critics are quick to publicize drug-price increases surrounding products like Mylan’s EpiPen. While escalating health costs are a valid concern for the nation, one has to wonder if the industry is getting a fair shake when it comes to similarly publicizing the charity work being done by these same companies.

Industry site LifeScienceleader.com recently carried a story about an annual dinner auction called Community of Hope. The annual charity event brings together two communities in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area, social services and the biopharmaceutical industry, to help support charities. Led by pharmaceutical icon Fred Hassan, the gala event raised more than $11 million for charity. Even with this noble event, Hassan would be the first to admit that pharma leaders can’t always please all the people all of the time.

Seeking a more-balanced review of Biopharma’s role in society

Still, this event makes one realize that any adverse publication about pharma warrants a more balanced approach. Fairness demands periodic mentioning of the number of lives the industry’s products have saved or the charity work being done by these companies. The article cites the Merck foundation’s 59 year-long contribution of more that $844 million to support initiatives that address important societal needs. This includes supporting military veterans through its Veterans Justice Initiative, which provides legal aid to the homeless veterans.

Biopharma – a charitable commitment for the right reasons

With the increasing focus on rising healthcare costs, it’s easy to point the finger at big pharma, accusing them of being too insular to the problem. But, any such attack should be balanced by a recognition of the charitable initiatives spearheaded by those same biopharmaceutical executives. The fact is, these executives are doing charitable events because it’s the right thing to do, not because they desire to leave a public legacy.

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