THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Direct Relief today announced a joint initiative in which Direct Relief will distribute $93 million worth of Amgen donated cancer treatments and supportive care medicines. This donation will provide cancer patients in 18 developing countries access to Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim), NEUPOGEN® (filgrastim) and Vectibix® (panitumumab).
Patients will access the donated medicines through Direct Relief-partner hospitals and clinics in the following countries: Armenia, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Paraguay, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
"Amgen's mission is to serve patients around the world. We are pleased to work with Direct Relief, an organization with a strong network of high-quality cancer hospitals and clinics across the developing world, to make these innovative cancer medicines accessible to patients in need," said Joshua Ofman, M.D., senior vice president of Global Value, Access and Policy at Amgen.
"Direct Relief is deeply appreciative to Amgen for its leadership and initiative in providing critical treatments to underserved cancer patients globally," said Thomas Tighe, president and chief executive officer of Direct Relief. "Cancer patients who would otherwise not be able to access many important therapies will be able to receive these advanced biologic medicines."
The first shipments of the nearly 110,000 units of donated medicines have already reached cancer clinics in destination countries and are available to patients. Donated medicines will serve approximately 7,400 low-income patients. Amgen and Direct Relief will continue to seek opportunities to partner in the future to bring innovative biologics to patients in need.
About Amgen's Commitment to Oncology
Amgen Oncology is committed to helping patients take on some of the toughest cancers. With decades of experience providing therapies for cancer patients, Amgen continues to grow its portfolio of innovative and biosimilar oncology medicines.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology. Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
Please see prescribing information for Amgen products at www.amgen.com.
About Direct Relief
Established in 1948 with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world—without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities, or ability to pay. With operations spanning more than 80 countries and all 50 states in the U.S., Direct Relief is the only charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Direct Relief is also a member of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), as well as an Implementing Partner in the City Cancer Challenge (C/CAN). Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, was listed among the world's most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, and has received the CECP Directors' Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, and the President's Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping. For more information, please visit www.DirectRelief.org
CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Kristen Davis, 805-447-3008 (media)
Andrea Fassacesia, 805-590-2575 (media)
Direct Relief, Santa Barbara
Tony Morain, 530-574-5707 (media)