The Puerto Rico Pharmaceutical Industry Association confirmed that after the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks registered on the island on Jan. 7 and since, biopharmaceutical manufacturing plants are back online.
“The biopharmaceutical industry has robust continuity plans to assure the steadiness of its supply of lifesaving medicines that are produced locally,” said PIA Chair Wendy Perry.
A survey of PIA’s member companies revealed that their manufacturing facilities are back in operations despite the power interruptions suffered due to the 6.4-magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks that affected the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico.
Most of the facilities have alternate power sources to continue operations until the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority reestablish the normal service, she said.
“We’re aware of the importance of the medicines we produce for people around the world, and we also plan for events of this nature, maintain adequate inventories to warrant the continuous supply,” said Perry.
In dealing with the situation, the biopharmaceutical companies that operate in Puerto Rico first accounted for their employees and assured that they and their families were safe and addressed immediate needs of those employees whose homes were affected or had major losses.
PIA member companies have also joined efforts with the communities to help in the recovery process and provide humanitarian assistance. Companies have pledged financial aid and donations of life-saving medicines, most of which have been distributed through humanitarian organizations active in Puerto Rico.
Many of the local biopharmaceutical companies are also supporting patients by activating the emergency protocols that allow the replacement of damaged medicines, early refills, and relaxing financial documentation requirements.