DULUTH, Ga., Sept. 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Boehringer Ingelheim, a global leader in veterinary rabies vaccines2, plans to donate 60,000 doses of its IMRAB® rabies vaccine for dogs over the next three years to fight rabies in Puerto Rico.
The company announced the donations to coincide with World Rabies Day as part of its Shots for Good initiative to help eliminate rabies around the world by vaccinating dogs.
Rabies is present in more than 150 countries and regions, especially in Asia and Africa, and dog bites account for more than 99 per cent of transmission from animals to people1. About 160 people a day die from rabies worldwide, half of whom are children1.
"We're pleased to do our part to help protect animals from rabies," said Randolph Legg, Head of the Pet Vet business at Boehringer Ingelheim's U.S. Animal Health Business.
Boehringer Ingelheim will spread the donations in Puerto Rico over three years in conjunction with events planned by the Spayathon™ for Puerto Rico, a coalition of about two dozen groups organized by the Humane Society of the United States. The groups have offered spay/neuter and vaccination services to thousands of animals. Boehringer Ingelheim contributed medication worth $2.2 million (about 1.8 million euros3) to support those events. Groups participating in the Spayathon events will administer the donated rabies vaccines.
The nonprofit Veterinarians for Puerto Rico will use donated IMRAB® to vaccinate animals in rural parts of the island.
Boehringer Ingelheim also will donate tens of thousands of dollars to fight rabies on the island. The money will go to the nonprofit Greatergood.org, which will use it to help cover the costs of providing proof of rabies vaccination for animal shelters and underserved communities in need.
Boehringer Ingelheim has joined forces for years with veterinarians, pet owners, governments and others to raise global awareness of rabies. Last World Rabies Day, for example, Boehringer Ingelheim announced that Shots for Good would donate 75,000 vaccine doses to fight rabies in Madagascar.
"The topic of rabies and its elimination is very close to our hearts and minds. In addition to being a leader in vaccines2, we also carry the heritage of Louis Pasteur, whose disciple founded our predecessor, Institute Mérieux, which made the first inactivated cell-cultured vaccine available to the world," commented Jean-Luc Michel, Head of Companion Animals Strategic Business Unit at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Chief Executive Louis Nel of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, which coordinates World Rabies Day, said the world is moving toward eliminating rabies deaths by 2030.
"The most important element of any rabies-elimination program is the vaccination of animals and humans, and is reflected by this year's World Rabies Day theme: 'Rabies: Vaccinate to Eliminate.' The involvement and collaboration of vaccine manufacturers is essential to help countries on their journey towards freedom from rabies."
About rabies: Around 59,000 people die from rabies annually, with over 99 per cent of these deaths occurring in Africa and Asia, as a result of being bitten by an infected dog. Dogs are major victims of the disease too; millions are killed every year by mass culling through misguided attempts to curb the disease. Rabies is 99.9 per cent fatal, but it is also 100 per cent preventable. Eliminating the disease by vaccinating dogs protects them and helps block transmission to people. But despite the existence of effective, relatively low-cost solutions to control animal rabies, people and animals are still dying.
About World Rabies Day: World Rabies Day happens each 28 September. The Global Alliance for Rabies Control initiated it in 2007 to create a global opportunity for people to unite in increasing awareness of rabies prevention. Since then, it has grown each year, with thousands of people organizing and participating in local, regional and national events. Learn more at http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/
About Global Alliance for Rabies Control: The Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) is a leading non-profit organization that aims to eliminate deaths from canine rabies by 2030, by working with governments, veterinary, public health and educational experts and communities to facilitate policy change and build capacity to eliminate rabies in areas hardest hit by the disease. For more information about rabies and GARC's work, visit http://rabiesalliance.org.
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Business Unit Boehringer Ingelheim is the second largest animal health business in the world, with net sales of almost 4 billion euros in 2018 and presence in more than 150 markets.
Across the globe, our 10,000 employees create the future of animal wellbeing through their daily work. We believe in prevention over treatment and therefore, we focus on developing innovative solutions in the field of vaccines, parasiticides and therapeutics. With a large portfolio of advanced, preventive healthcare products, tools and services, we support our customers in taking care of the health of their animals.
Boehringer Ingelheim Improving the health of humans and animals is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients' lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.
Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry's top 20 companies. Some 50,000 employees create value through innovation daily for the three business areas human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceuticals. In 2018, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 17.5 billion euros. R&D expenditure of almost 3.2 billion euros, corresponded to 18.1 per cent of net sales.
As a family-owned company, Boehringer Ingelheim plans in generations and focuses on long-term success. The company therefore aims at organic growth from its own resources with simultaneous openness to partnerships and strategic alliances in research. In everything it does, Boehringer Ingelheim naturally adopts responsibility towards mankind and the environment.