Tuesday, January 26, 2010

J&J, BTW, IS Donating to Haiti Relief But Won't Say How Much

I've been keeping a tally of the donations that the drug industry is making to the Haiti earthquake relief effort. So far, the total of about $9 MM in cash and $15 MM worth of drugs and other medical supplies is only about 14% of what the industry donated to tsunami relief in 2005 and only about 1.2% of the daily sales of Rx drugs worldwide (see "So Far, I Have Donated More to Haiti Relief Than Pharma (as % of Daily Income)").

After several days of my incessant Twitter badgering, Marc Monseau, Director, Corporate Communication, Social Media, at Johnson & Johnson, finally "answered" my question about how much J&J is donating to Haiti. See below for Marc's accounting of J&J's Haiti relief efforts.

Unfortunately, no dollar amount of J&J's contribution is available. "We typically don’t disclose the dollar value of our contributions to individual relief efforts," said Marc. In 2005, however, PhRMA reported that J&J donated $10 MM in cash to tsunami relief. I guess the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia was NOT "typical" whereas the Haitian earthquake is.

If you say that the amount is not important, I say it is, especially when you make a BIG splash about helping Haiti on your web site's home page as J&J is doing (see screen shot below; see www.jnj.com):

J&J is doing good. But how much good compared to Abbott, for example, which is donating $1 MM in cash to Haiti (BTW, that's only 10% of the $10 MM Abbott donated to tsunami relief in 2005)?

A dollar value is the only way to measure how much good J&J is doing, not a video on its web site. Cash donations, we are told, are the BEST way to help Haiti right now. Individual Americans are donating more cash to Haiti than the drug industry. The Help for Haiti Now TV marathon, for example, raised about $35 MM from viewers in a single night. I am sure that many employees of pharmaceutical companies are also making donations. It's great that J&J and many other companies are matching these donations (J&J is offering a generous 2:1 match -- Marc mentioned that 1,700 J&J employees have already made donations. See bullet points below). I hope that they tell us the dollar value of those matching funds because that would tell us something about the generosity of their employees, which I am sure matches or even surpasses that of Americans in general.

The following is Marc's accounting of J&J's Haiti relief efforts
  • We immediately shipped Johnson & Johnson disaster relief modules with large quantities of our consumer and over-the-counter products.
  • We also are coordinating cash donations to organizations known to us and our regional colleagues to assist with initial aid. Our partners at Medical Teams International (MTI), the Surgical Implant Generation Network (SIGN), and Esperanza International are on their way to Haiti to evaluate the situation on the ground as well as to offer emergency medical treatment.
  • Our Family of Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean are in contact with Haitian and Dominican nongovernmental organizations such as Hospital Albert Schweitzer, Esperanza International and Partners In Health to assess on-the-ground needs.
  • Our companies will be preparing additional product donations based on needs identified by these and other partners.
  • Additionally, we are evaluating maritime capacity for shipping products from Puerto Rico to Haiti, and activating contacts with our distributors in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to understand logistics of moving donated products from the ports and airports into the affected areas.
  • We are offering 2:1 company matches on donations made by U.S.-based employees to qualified nonprofit organizations assisting with earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
  • We are continuing to monitor the situation and, based on what we learn from our partners, will evaluate how we can help in other ways in both the short and longer term.
  • Our partners helped to airlift disaster relief modules into Haiti last week that included large quantities of our consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical device and diagnostic products – enough to meet the immediate needs of thousands of people. Antibiotics and pain medications have been donated for use in acute care.
  • Specialized medical devices to assist with traumatic limb and body injuries are being provided to qualified surgical teams. Large shipments of our first aid and consumer hygiene kits were donated.
  • This expanded list of partners reflects the progress we have made in the last week working to identify needs and ways to help: AmeriCares, Catholic Medical Mission Board, Direct Relief International, Esperanza International, Heart to Heart, Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (Pittsburgh), Interchurch Medical Assistance, International Rescue Committee, MAP International, Medical Teams International, Operation Smile, Partners In Health, Project HOPE, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, Surgical Implant Generation Network, UNICEF, and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
  • In the U.S., more than 1,700 employees have donated to one or more of our partners through our U.S. Matching Gifts Program where employee donations are matched 2:1 by the company. Some of our operating companies outside the U.S. have their own programs.
I hope this helps. Call me if you have questions.

Marc Monseau
Director, Corporate Communication, Social Media
Johnson & Johnson
One Johnson & Johnson Plaza
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08933

W: (732) 524-1130


  1. I don't think J&J or any other company owes you, me, or anyone else a detailed accounting of all relief donations. Perhaps some companies prefer to do good without getting into a measurement game by dollar signs. This isn't a competition, after all...

  2. No, they don't owe me a thing. They owe it to their employees who are donating cash to at least report how much matching funds have been given. Plus, if some most other pharma companies can report dollar amounts AND if PhRMA does it, why can't J&J and Pfizer? Finally, they reported a dollar amount in 2005, why not now? Perhaps they owe e answers to THOSE questions.

    At the heart of this for me is why the situation with Haiti is different than with the tsunami relief effort in 2005 when many PhRMA kept and reported a tally and most pharma companies also did so? I think the industry owes us an explanation of why they donated $180 MM in 2005 and nowhere near that in 2010.

  3. "Incessant" may be a bit of an exaggeration, John. I have just two Twitter requests from you -- and it did take a bit to get the information you were looking for. But no matter. I do understand your interest in obtaining a dollar value, but I assure you that we have only done so rarely in the past. This is, in the end, about providing the agencies and organizations that are supporting the relief efforts with the products, money and support they are looking for which, if you look over the list of all that Johnson & Johnson is doing, is what we are trying to accomplish with our efforts. If we do end up wrapping a dollar figure around all that we are doing, I will let you know.

    BTW -- I still think it is important to encourage people to contribute to different organizations that are helping in the relief effort. If you check out JNJBTW, you can see a list of some of the organizations we are supporting and which your readers can contribute to. www.jnjbtw.com/2010/01/help-for-haiti/

  4. Marc,

    Thanks for your comment. I meant "incessant" in a relative sense. Sometimes 2 Tweets are 2 too many. Sorry if I implied that you were unresponsive. I should note for my readers that you responded as quickly as you could. I was just hoping that you would be able to get a dollar amount for me.


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