There are many different scenarios for medicine donations – such as emergency
aid, long-term aid, or assistance to national health systems or to individual
health facilities. Donations may come from pharmaceutical companies (directly or
through private voluntary organizations), they may come in the form of aid from
governments, or they may be donations aimed directly at single health-care
facilities. The intended beneficiaries of donations of medicines range from
individual facilities to entire health systems. Although there are legitimate
differences between these scenarios, many basic rules for appropriate donation
practice apply to them all. The Guidelines for medicine donations aim to
describe this common core of good medicine donation practice.
The guidelines are intended to provide guidance that will achieve best
donation practice by both donors and recipients, and to serve as a basis for
preparing national or institutional donation guidelines. They are meant to be
reviewed, adapted and implemented by governments and organizations dealing with
Changes in this 3rd edition of the guidelines are based on a review of
experiences and comments received through a consultative process. Key principles
that were kept in mind when preparing the 3rd edition were:
- The guidelines should focus on protecting recipient countries from
inappropriate donation practices.
- The guidelines should enhance the responsibility and involvement of
recipients in the full process of medicine donations.
- The guidelines should emphasize the need for coordination in all phases
of the donation process.
- The guidelines should put additional emphasis on the desirability of
countries to develop a national medicine donations policy and to adopt
national donation guidelines.
- The guidelines should provide guidance on appropriate donation practice
for donors as well as for recipients.
This is an interagency document published by the WHO Department of Essential
Medicines and Pharmaceutical Policies on behalf of the organizations listed.