The English version of the Guidelines was issued in May 1996. Hundreds of copies were disseminated through the WHO mailing lists. Each of the organizations in the interagency group received about 500 copies for dissemination through their regional and field offices. OXFAM received 1,000 copies for distribution to nongovernmental organizations, especially those dealing with Romania. The Guidelines were also made available through the DAP web site. In total, about 8,000 copies were printed and distributed in English in the first year. In March 1997 WHO published an article on the Guidelines in the British Medical Journal. In addition, the Guidelines were included in a chapter on drug donations in the second edition of the standard textbook, Managing drug supply,3 which appeared in April 1997.
Translations into other languages followed. In August 1996 the French edition was issued and in September the Spanish translation. In total, over 6,000 copies were printed and distributed in these two languages. In December 1996 the Guidelines were reproduced in their entirety in the Essential Drugs Monitor (No. 21) in English, later followed by editions in French, Spanish and Russian; a total of about 35,000 copies were printed. In the subsequent issue of the Monitor national adaptations of the Guidelines were reported.