Medicines, Medical Equipment & Supplies
Essential Medicines, Medical Equipment & Supplies are necessary to help save and improve lives. The Task Force coordinates through sophisticated supply chains, system development, and accreditation processes access to medicines, medical equipment and supplies to communities who cannot access them.
To help eliminate diseases, it often takes expensive and sophisticated medicine to help prevent and control diseases so that transmission can be stopped and the disease permanently wiped out. However, particularly for diseases that affect the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the world, these medicines are not easily accessible, and without a concerted effort and collaboration between many systems, they would never make it to these populations.
Because of the generosity of pharmaceutical companies, many neglected tropical disease (NTDs) elimination campaigns are made possible around the world. In our work to eliminate NTDs, we manage some of the largest and most complex of these drug donation programs, working with all points along the supply chain to ensure that medicines make it into mouths safely during mass drug administrations in endemic communities. Through expert committees (Trachoma Expert Committee and the Mectizan® Expert Committee), we help evaluate country applications for these medicines and then coordinate production with our pharmaceutical partners to ensure timely delivery without incident. We also develop sophisticated monitoring and evaluation systems such as the Zithromax® Shipment Tracker to ensure transparency in the supply chain.
Our expertise in managing drug donation programs has helped foster collaborative solutions to supply chain challenges facing the humanitarian sector. We participate in the NTD Supply Chain Forum, a unique public-private partnership that focuses on increasing efficiencies and lowering costs in the delivery of preventive chemotherapy medicines to more than 70 countries for the control and elimination of NTDs.
Many clinics and hospitals in developing countries do not have the basic supplies and equipment to conduct regular healthcare activities, leading to deaths or loss of limbs and bodily functions due to a lack of medical supplies in some communities. At the same time, other hospitals have a surplus of supplies and equipment that often get thrown into landfills adding to environmental issues and even creating hazardous environments.
To address this disconnect, Medical Surplus Recovery Organizations (MSROs) and charitable institutions seek to help organizations and entities send surplus supplies and equipment to clinics that need them. However, if the correct guidelines and standards are not followed, sending supplies and equipment to clinics in need can often cause an additional burden for these already low-resourced health facilities. This additional burden can be caused by the supplies and equipment are either unusable in the recipient’s environment, they do not fit the recipient’s country requirements, they do not have a knowledgeable technician to operate or maintain the equipment or devices, or they are not servicing the exact needs of the community.
The Task Force’s MedSurplus Alliance (MSA) is a cross-sector alliance that works collaboratively to improve access to quality donated medical products, through accreditation, capacity-building, management and technology solutions, and leadership. MSA helps MSROs follow best practices and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines by providing accreditation. In addition, this accreditation ensures that global and country-specific standards and guidelines are being met so that donated products are actually servicing the needs of recipient hospitals and clinics rather than causing further burdens to them or the environment. For MSROs that want to follow WHO best practices, MSA helps members work through an accreditation process that evaluates an MSRO’s governance, needs assessment process, product quality and quantity, logistics, monitoring and evaluation, donations in emergency situations, and disposal of surplus supplies.
To learn more about our medical surplus recovery accreditation process, check out MedSurplus Alliance.
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Do you have surplus medical supplies, equipment, or biomedical devices that you would like to keep out of landfills and donate?
Header photo caption: Sophisticated supply chain systems must be used in order to track donated medicines and medical products from sender to recipient. Here medicines are unloaded at an airport in Ethiopia.