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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Study Finds Improvements in Medicine Donation Guidelines Needed

A research paper by a group of Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) students and their professor, Dr. Richard Laing, recommends improvements to the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Medicine Donations in order to clarify donation practices, better define who “recipients” are, distinguish between acute and long-term emergencies, and add visual aids such as flowcharts and checklists to improve understanding of the process.

The study was published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice.

The authors said that while some elements of the WHO’s guidelines are “intentionally broad” to allow for situational tailoring, the lack of definition of who a “recipient” is limits the benefits of the guide. By including a definition of appropriate recipients — such as governments, NGOs, and health facilities—the benefits of medicine donations could be enhanced.

“This is especially relevant in scenarios where a government is unstable or there is a severe lack of capacity, and NGOs and/or health facilities are in a position to take on the role of managing a donation,” they wrote.

To read more about the study, go to: