AAH partners with Red Cross to help people in Ukraine
By Neil Trainis
AAH has partnered with the Red Cross to help get supplies of essentials such as wound care and sanitary products to people caught up in the war in Ukraine.
In an exclusive interview with Independent Community Pharmacist, the wholesaler’s sales and operations director Ashley Cowen (pictured) said the company has sent some of its stock to Poland where more than 1.7 million Ukrainian refugees have arrived from the war-torn country.
Mr Cowen said AAH hoped to get supplies directly into Ukraine where Russian forces continue to attack residential areas in towns and cities.
He said AAH was working “to establish a bit more detail’ with the Red Cross in relation to what medicines are needed.
“We’ve partnered with the Red Cross to stary a supply of urgent things that we have in our stock to get to Poland initially but hopefully across the border as well,” he said.
“For starters, a lot of the requests have come through for wound care products and sanitisation products, even things as basic as gloves and masks, things you would expect would be needed.
"We’ve started that and we’re now trying to establish a bit more detail on what is needed so we can help wherever we can, particularly in the need for medicines.”
Direct link with charity
Mr Cowen said AAH had “activated a direct link with the Red Cross” because they thought they “were best placed” to help people in Ukraine.
“We can send them what we think but actually, they are best placed to tell us what they need and the first batches of medicinal stuff has gone across now," he said.
He said AAH is supporting its UK-based Ukrainian staff, many of whom have family in Ukraine, although he said he did not know if any of his staff had returned to the country to fight.
“We’ve been working with them on their individual, direct needs. I’ve got a lot of Ukrainians working for me and they are obviously very distressed," Mr Cowen said.
“I’ve probably got 2,500 people and a couple of per cent are Ukrainian but instantly, clearly, we know who they are because there is a lot of stress.” He said AAH’s warehouses are raising funds and insisted the company will match whatever sums they generate.
“I’ve got 17 warehouses across the country and I’ve probably got somebody in each one doing something that’s directly connected,” he said.
Meanwhile, Alliance Healthcare parent company AmerisourceBergen is working with governments, associations and other stakeholders across Europe to support people in Ukraine.
It has sent $100,000 in grant donations to help organisations in the country provide care to those affected and pledged to donate two Euros for every Euro given by its employees for organisations such as Direct Relief, International Committee of the Red Cross and the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund at GlobalGiving.
Martin Sawer, the executive director of the Healthcare Distribution Association, the trade body for medicines wholesalers, told ICP that his member companies have offered funds and medical products through International Health Partners, a non-profit organisation that supports people in disaster-hit countries.