An initiative described as a “step change” in the ability of the European pharmaceutical industry to donate medicines in response to global disasters or appeals for humanitarian aid was launched in London on 9 December 2014.
European Medicine Donations (EURMED) is a collaboration between three European not-for-profit organisations — the German medical aid agency Action Medeor, Banco Farmaceutico in Italy, which collects unwanted drugs for people in need, and the UK’s International Health Partners (IHP), which says it is the largest coordinator of donated medicines in Europe.
EURMED has created an online donation tool that pharmaceutical companies can sign up to and use to donate medicines to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in disaster support or humanitarian relief.
The donor company must guarantee the quality of the donated product and meet dating and labelling standards while the receiving NGO has to promise that the donated product will be administered by trained health professionals to those in need, free of charge.
The initiative, which coincided with the tenth birthday of IHP, ensures the “secure and effective delivery of product to NGOs serving people in need”, according to IHP’s president Anthony Dunnett. “It matches supply and demand, tracks product to final destination and gathers feedback from the field,” he says.
EURMED was endorsed by IHP patron the Prince of Wales who says he hopes it will bring “even more essential medicines to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities”.