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[e-drug] Bulletin WHO: compliance with WHO guidelines for drug donations

E-DRUG: Bulletin WHO: compliance with WHO guidelines for drug donations
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[Drug donations can do more harm than good for the recipient countries.
Strengthening the structures and systems for coordinating and monitoring 
drug donations and ensuring that these are driven by recipient needs 
will improve adherence to the drug donation guidelines set forth by WHO.
BS]

http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/12/10-079764.pdf

To give is better than to receive: compliance with WHO guidelines for 
drug donations during 2000--2008

Lisa Bero, a;  Brittany Carson, b; Helene Moller, c & Suzanne Hill, c

Abstract

Objective 
To assess drug donations in terms of their adherence to the 
drug donation guidelines put forth by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Methods In 2009 we searched the academic and lay literature -- journal 
articles, media articles and industry and donor web sites -- to identify 
reports about drug donations made from 2000 to 2008. Publications 
focusing on molecular mechanisms of drug action, general descriptions of 
guidelines or specific one-time drug donations before 2000 were 
excluded. For cases with sufficient information, we assessed compliance 
with each of the 12 articles of WHO's guidelines.

Findings 
We found 95 articles describing 96 incidents of drug donations 
between 2000 and 2008. Of these, 50 were made in response to disaster 
situations, 43 involved the long-term donation of a drug to treat a 
specific disease and 3 were drug recycling cases. Disaster-related 
donations were less likely to comply with the guidelines, particularly 
in terms of meeting the recipient's needs, quality assurance and 
shelf-life, packaging and labelling, and information management. 
Recipient countries were burdened with the costs of destroying the drugs 
received through inappropriate donations. Although long-term donations 
were more likely to comply with WHO guidelines related to quality 
assurance and labelling, they did not consistently meet the needs of the 
recipients. Furthermore, they discouraged local drug production and 
development.

Conclusion 
Drug donations can do more harm than good for the recipient 
countries. Strengthening the structures and systems for coordinating and 
monitoring drug donations and ensuring that these are driven by 
recipient needs will improve adherence to the drug donation guidelines 
set forth by WHO.

a Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, 3333 
California Street (Suite 420), San Francisco, 94118, CA, United States 
of America (USA).
b Weill-Cornell University, Department of Medicine, New York, USA.
c World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Correspondence to Lisa Bero (e-mail: berol@pharmacy.ucsf.edu).

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