Market Overview

McKesson Launches Nonprofit Initiative to Deliver Better Care to Cancer Patients in Need


Today, McKesson Corporation announced Giving Comfort, a McKesson Foundation program focused on providing patients undergoing cancer treatment with the items they need at a time when they need them most.

Each year, 1.6 million people in the U.S. are newly diagnosed with cancer, and nearly 600,000 patients will die. Giving Comfort was established to provide cancer patients with kits filled with the most needed and requested items that provide relief during chemotherapy treatment.

“The McKesson Foundation is committed to all aspects of healthcare, including cancer management, and Giving Comfort is a natural extension of that commitment,” said Miles Orkin, general manager, Giving Comfort. “Cancer is a brutal disease, both physically and financially, and can take a significant toll on both patients and their families. We hope that the efforts of McKesson's employees nationwide and the distribution of these kits through our Foundation will provide some relief as these patients receive treatment and continue their battle against cancer.”

Nearly one quarter of people with cancer will exhaust all savings to cover treatment costs, even with health insurance. Moreover, 11 percent of cancer patients cannot afford food and basic necessities due to treatment costs. Giving Comfort aims to provide relief to these patients through Comfort Kits filled with items including a blanket, toiletries, a warm cap, journal and other frequently requested items to help them as they receive treatment.

“Nearly everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, either directly or because a friend or family member has been stricken by this devastating disease,” said John Hammergren, chairman and CEO of McKesson Corporation. “Knowing that people are pulling for you can make a huge difference in successfully overcoming cancer, and Giving Comfort provides a meaningful way for people to support those in greatest need. We are proud to have our employees supporting this important initiative as part of our commitment to helping patients everywhere achieve better health.”

Through generous donations by individuals, Comfort Kits are provided to low-income patients free of charge. As part of the program, 100 percent of individual donations go directly to purchasing and delivering Comfort Kits through the Giving Comfort Distribution Network Partners, which include hospital social workers, independent oncologists, patient navigators, the American Cancer Society and other service providers.

“We are proud to partner with McKesson on the Giving Comfort initiative. Cancer and treatment is a serious burden on patients. The treatment can itch, burn, and make patients exhausted and sick, and because it's so expensive, many can't afford the simple things that make it bearable,” said Alexandra Morgan, CEO of Family House, a hospitality house for pediatric cancer patients and their families in San Francisco. “Basic items — a soft blanket, warm socks, calming tea, moisturizer, even a toothbrush — can soothe discomfort. By donating a Comfort Kit, people can provide a huge boost for patients and make an immediate impact during what might be the most difficult time of their lives.”

The Giving Comfort team surveyed hundreds of cancer patients and oncology professionals, conducted in-person interviews and focus groups, and sorted through product samples, fabric swatches, prototype bags and more to make sure the kits are as useful and soothing as possible for those in need.

Additionally, individuals can purchase a Comfort Kit online for a friend or loved one, regardless of income, and have the gift sent directly to the recipient's home or hospital room with a personal note enclosed. All of the proceeds from these kit sales go directly back into supporting Giving Comfort.

To donate or purchase a kit, please visit

About Giving Comfort

Started in 2012, Giving Comfort is a program of the McKesson Foundation focused on providing patients undergoing cancer treatment with the comfort items they need at a time when they need them most.

About McKesson Foundation

Founded in 1943, the McKesson Foundation is a healthcare foundation focused on providing funding to organizations that provide non-medical direct services to low-income cancer patients in the U.S.

The McKesson Foundation also funds cancer research through its Mobilizing for Health® grant program. Specifically, through Mobilizing for Health, the Foundation funds research projects focused on mobile phone-based interventions for low-income patients, with a priority interest in early detection and cancer management.

For more information about the McKesson Foundation, please contact us at

McKesson Corporate PR
Megan Hawkins, 415-983-9307

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