Scottsdale pharmaceutical company raises funds to help hurricane victims

Far From Home

Scottsdale pharmaceutical company raises funds to help hurricane victims.

By Julia De Simone

Photos by Steven Fellheimer

The devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is personal for Sean Lonergan of Scottsdale.

The PruGen Pharmaceuticals’ founder of the Scottsdale-based company not only has a home on the island, but so do several of his employees.

“We’re trying to help in any way we can,” says Lonergan, also chairman and CEO of the company. “From our standpoint, we’re so close. Our friends, family, employees were all affected.”

In the wake of the situation, the company’s PruGen Foundation is raising funds to assist victims affected in Puerto Rico and the continental United States. In addition, every dollar donated by the company’s team members and customers will be matched. As of press time, more than $100,000 had been raised at youcaring.com/prugencares. Their goal is $250,000, which Lonergan is confident they can surpass by the end of the calendar year.

“At PruGen, we believe that when we come together, united for a common cause, the sky’s the limit for the impact we can make for those in need,” Lonergan states on the site.

The PruGen founder said when the hurricane hit Puerto Rico, he and his family were in the Valley but his 10 employees that work on the island returned to work immediately afterward. Currently employees are residing at Lonergan’s Puerto Rico house with their primary job of “delivering food, water, and helping.”

“I take great pride in them and the team echoes (those sentiments),” he says.

In a recent Fox 10 interview, Nadja Bague, a PruGen employee who also calls Puerto Rico her home, says it’s been “devastating.”

“Puerto Rico has been basically destroyed. The power structure that there was is non-existent now. So hopefully, you know pretty soon, we will be able to get that stuff back on,” she says.

Lonergan also plans to travel to Puerto Rico early January where they will continue to work with employees and fellow friends residing on the island to best determine those needing the greatest assistance.

“Everyone is making use of himself or herself on the island,” he says. “People know that they’re hurting. We want to get the word out that we’re trying to help them as soon as we can.”

In the meantime, they will continue to concentrate on their other sponsored organizations including Golf Fore Africa, Play for P.I.N.K., Map International, Tee It Up for the Troops, and Family Promise of Greater Phoenix.

PruGen Inc., founded in 2006, develops, manufactures and markets generic and branded prescription and over-the-counter medications. Roughly 600 employees in the continental United States and Puerto Rico make up the company, which performs research and development in areas such as drug delivery technology for oral medications and advanced treatments for fungal infections, acne and rosacea. In August 2011, PruGen was named the 29th fastest-growing company in the United States by Inc. 500 Magazine.

An application for the PruGen foundation to be recognized as a 501©(3) tax-exempt organization is currently pending with the IRS. All donations are retroactive. For more information on donating to assist Hurricane Maria victims, visit youcaring.com/prugencares, as well as their Facebook page.

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