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CEO to Address Los Angeles Business Leaders About Developing Pandemic and Business Continuity Plans
Date:10/29/2008

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- George Abercrombie, president and chief executive officer, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., will address Los Angeles business leaders at the National Association of Corporate Directors-Southern California Chapter dinner tonight. He plans to tell them that the threat of a pandemic flu presents businesses with challenges unlike those anticipated with traditional emergency preparedness plans.

"While many business leaders are concerned about the global financial crisis and the challenges it may cause for their businesses, it's a good time to reexamine all external threats to business continuity," stated Abercrombie. "Most Los Angeles-based businesses have emergency preparedness plans for potential disasters such as earthquakes or fires, but they also need to look at the special challenges posed by the potential of a public health crisis caused by a global influenza pandemic."

Abercrombie, who will also share details of Roche's own plans to safeguard the health of its employees and business infrastructure during a pandemic flu outbreak, says that California's key industry sectors -- including manufacturing, finance and insurance, technology, wholesale and retail trade, and construction -- would be among the hardest hit.

Last March, Trust for America's Health released a report (funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts as part of the U.S. Pandemic Preparedness Initiative) estimating that California could face a potential financial loss of $87 billion as a result of a severe pandemic flu outbreak.

"Influenza pandemics are not static events like an earthquake or fire, nor are they confined to a specific area. Pandemics come in multiple waves, each one affecting a given area from four to 12 weeks. During the first wave, officials expect 20 to 30 percent of people will become ill. Here in Los Angeles County, that's two to three million people who will get very sick in a very short period of time, inundating emergency ro
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SOURCE Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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