PQMD Guidelines for Quality Medical Donations
In the mid-to-late 1990s, there was growing concern that donations of medical products were actually damaging the viability of host country healthcare programs. Despite much evidence of well-managed donation programs, there was increasing evidence that situations of natural disasters and wars created opportunity to dump unwanted, expired, even dangerous products into those environments. Global health interests were concerned that efforts to build universal formularies to manage pharmaceuticals in developing countries were being undermined by the shipment of brand-name products, expired products, “garbage bags” containing a disparity of sample drugs in two-tablet packaging. The World Health Organization, joined by the World Council of Churches and others, called for the establishment of international standards to guide the delivery of donated medical products.
In 1999, a small group of American manufacturers and non-profit organizations realized the importance of joining the discussion. They committed themselves to a process to create Guidelines and Standards that would reflect the best efforts of their programs and would also address concerns of the global health community. That informal, pioneering group that quickly became known as “The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, Inc.,” with an ever-growing membership, has taken seriously the importance of Standards to guide the donated medical product industry. In the intervening fifteen years, PQMD has demonstrated a continuing commitment to improve and implement “Standards” to guide the management of donated medical products and the performance of those who participate in this industry.
This 2019 edition of the PQMD Guidelines and Standards, approved by the PQMD Board of Directors in April of 2019, reflects the base of knowledge, experience and expectations of the membership for how medical product donations will be judged going forward. It is our hope that other organizations will join with the PQMD Member Companies and Non-Profit Organizations in using these Standards to guide their work in supplying donated medical products addressing needs being experienced by partners, in their own countries and globally.