What This Pharma Firm Is Doing to Battle Ebola

By now, the world is aware that there exists no vaccine or cure for Ebola, but researchers are working on a few experimental drug therapies that are being put to use. In the meantime, healthcare givers are largely relegated to giving Ebola patients what is referred as “supportive therapy”—which largely involves providing fluids, maintaining the patient’s oxygen status and blood pressure, and treating potentially life-threatening secondary infections with antibiotics.

Bayer has one of the most powerful antibiotics on the market in ciprofloxacin, so it donated various doses of the drug, worth approximately $3.2 million, to the U.S.-based humanitarian organization Direct Relief. If ciprofloxacin, better known as Cipro, sounds familiar, it’s the antibiotic drug that rocketed to national headlines in the U.S. during the Anthrax attacks back in 2001.

Bayer’s initial Cipro donation to Direct Relief is earmarked to treat patients in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The pharmaceutical company’s latest donation of Cipro, worth around $1.4 million, is staying within the borders of those two countries, but going to a different organization.

Germany-based Action Medeor, the largest medical aid organization in Europe, received Bayer’s $1.4 million worth of Cipro. The group also received €50,000 cash toward the purchase of protective clothing at its isolation clinics in Monrovia.

Earlier this year, Bayer gave €25,000 to Caritas International to help purchase hand sanitizer in Liberia. Add that to Bayer’s recent donations, and you have the company’s biggest give in its history with a grand total of €3.795 million ($4.75 million USD) toward fighting Ebola in Africa. 

These latest donations were made as a part of the company's continuing commitment to social responsibility and in conjunction with its Bayer Cares Foundation. Bayer Cares provides disaster aid and emergency relief assistance to countries in need around the world.