Medicines from several top pharmaceutical companies include painkillers and anaesthetics. Some 60 tonnes of desperately needed medical supplies, costing some £2 million, are being flown on the first supply relief flight to Basra.
"Pharmaceutical companies have a well-deserved reputation for being among the first to send assistance to disaster zones, and we are delighted to be able to contribute to the process of getting Iraq back on its feet - in this case, quite literally," said Dr Trevor Jones, Director General of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
"The people of Iraq and its hard-pressed doctors and nurses desperately need good quality, modern medicines. Now the first consignment is on its way to them, courtesy of the British-based pharmaceutical industry."
Medicines supplied under such circumstances are done so in a responsible manner under World Health Organisation guidelines.
Pharmaceutical companies involved in the exercise include GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Sanofi-Synthelabo, and Pfizer.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410