The GSK Japan Management Team has been working throughout the last few days to ensure the safety and well being of GSK employees across the country. We are pleased to report that all GSK Japan employees are confirmed to be safe, including the 174 employees in the Tohoku Region which has been most impacted by the earthquake and the tsunami.
As the rescue and relief effort makes progress, there are still safety concerns across the country. The capital Tokyo is still experiencing regular aftershocks, amid warnings that another earthquake may strike soon and there are raised concerns over the radiation levels, following a series of explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from a 20 km exclusion zone around the site. Six GSK employees who live 40 km away from the Fukushima nuclear station have been evacuated as a safety precaution.
The focus of the Management Team has now turned to supporting the welfare of the employees in the most impacted areas and ensuring the ongoing supplies of medicines to patients including those in clinical trials involving life- threatening conditions. “We have robust business continuity plans in place,” said Philippe Fauchet, President, GSK Japan. “We are doing our best to get our factory up and running shortly, and we have good stocks of medicines in the country. Transport and communication within Japan are extremely challenging at the moment, but we are doing everything that we can to ensure that medicines reach the patients who need them”.
Paying tribute to employees across the business in Japan, Philippe said, “I would like to express my great appreciation and respect for my colleagues for their tremendous commitment under extremely difficult and traumatic conditions.”
The team will also work with the Japanese authorities, the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and local NGOs to assess medical support and pharmaceutical donation needs as part of the disaster relief programme. As the immediate needs are for clean water, blankets and food supplies, a donation of ¥200 million (approx £1.5m) is being made to the Japanese Red Cross. We will also donate medicines and oral care products worth ¥ 80 million (approx £600,000). We are committed to supporting reconstruction efforts as the needs in the future become clearer.
Employees can make a donation through the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.