Eli Lilly and Company announced Thursday that a new shipment of commercial medicines, including more than 36,000 vials and pens of insulin, arrived in Puerto Rico.
The delivery includes 3,000 vials for humanitarian distribution and enough commercial insulin to help re-stock operational pharmacies. Lilly’s humanitarian donation now includes 5,400 insulin pens and vials since Hurricane María struck Puerto Rico on Sept. 20.
“The arrival of this additional insulin will help our efforts considerably,” said Angel L. Comulada, president of the Puerto Rican Society of Diabetology and Endocrinology.
“The recovery effort on the island has been difficult, and people with diabetes are particularly vulnerable without a dependable supply of insulin,” he said. “This is an important step in our re-building efforts.”
For people who can get to a pharmacy, the best way to access medicine is through normal channels. If their pharmacy is not open, insulin can be picked up at the following locations:
- Bayamon Health Center, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday
- Centro de Diabetes para Puerto Rico, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays
- Hospital Municipal de San Juan, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday
“We’re committed to helping the people of Puerto Rico recover from the destruction of Hurricane María,” said Enrique Conterno, president of Lilly Diabetes and Lilly USA.
“Our humanitarian shipments are now being complemented with commercial insulin, allowing wholesalers to begin re-stocking products — which, in turn, will allow the people of Puerto Rico to find medicine more regularly at their pharmacies. And our humanitarian shipments will provide relief for many who may have no other options,” he said.
Lilly’s first humanitarian shipment, 2,400 pens and vials of insulin, arrived in San Juan on Sept. 24. Recipients of the insulin included the Municipality of San Juan, Centro Médico, San Jorge Children’s Hospital, and Guaynabo, Hato Rey and Cayey Dialysis Centers.
The additional 3,000 humanitarian vials will be distributed to centers established by SPED and to other locations by Direct Relief International, in close collaboration with local health experts and authorities.
Lilly knows the humanitarian needs around the island are significant and intends to make additional donations of insulin and other medicines in the weeks ahead as efforts to provide needed medical assistance continue, the company said.
“The devastation inflicted on Puerto Rico is beyond what many of us can imagine, and the health and safety of everyone is on all our minds,” Conterno said. “This latest shipment of medicine is an important step, but much work remains. Lilly will continue to monitor developments on the island closely and work to ensure our medicines are available.”