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By IHP, Mar 23 2015 09:54AM

FT - BUSINESS LIFE


The charity that matches surplus medicines with acute need


20 March 2015,


International Health Partners cuts waste from aid, writes Andrew Ward


Pharmaceuticals executives might not seem the most likely recipients of hospitality from HRH the Prince of Wales.


The heir to the British throne is well known for his advocacy of homeopathy. Yet, here they are, senior representatives from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and many of the world's other big drug makers, sipping champagne in Prince Charles's Clarence House residence in London.


They are here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a charity, backed by the prince that distributes donated medicines to disaster zones. International Health Partners is not the first organisation to play this role. But its aim is to eliminate inefficiencies that have often undermined relief efforts in the past.


By acting as a brokerage that matches companies' surplus medicines with humanitarian needs, IHP is helping to bring corporate-style supply chain management to international aid.


"In an emergency situation, you don't want 100 different companies all asking the same questions," says Anthony Dunnett, who founded IHP after a career in banking and government. "You want people to be able to see exactly what is needed right away."


The problem IHP is trying to overcome was glaringly visible after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. A multitude of companies and charities rushed to donate 4,000 tonnes of medicines to the region's devastated coastal communities. A year later, a report funded by the World Health Organisation found that half would need to be destroyed because they were out-of-date, inappropriate or simply not needed.


IHP has since tried to avoid this kind of wastage by developing software that allows drug companies to see which products are needed at any given time, based on the requests of aid agencies. The companies, in turn, can use the system to advertise medicines they have available for donation.


"This is not about dumping un-wanted drugs," insists Mr Dunnett." It's about matching need with supply and avoiding duplication. It's a way for companies to work collaboratively on big humanitarian challenges."


While it sounds a simple concept, there are often tricky regulatory obstacles. Companies need assurances that their products will be used in the right way by the right patients in the right place. Donated drugs might leak into a local black market or even be smuggled back to the developed world where they can be sold at a high price.


Mr Dunnett says IHP has avoided this with strict monitoring and by picking its partners carefully. Out of 30m treatments distributed over the past decade, he says only 12 boxes have been lost.


IHP typically receives £15m-£20m worth of medicines each year. These have been directed to more than 100 countries since the charity's inception; war-torn Syria and the storm-hit Philippines have been among its recent priorities.

The charity's reach is set to be increased by a new collaboration called Eurmed involving similar organisations in Germany and Italy. The aim is to build Europe's medical aid capacity into a better match for bigger US relief organisations.


Not everyone in the global health community is a fan of IHP's model. Critics claim that drug donations allow big pharma to feel good about itself while doing nothing to improve long-term access to affordable medicines in the developing world.


Mr Dunnett acknowledges there will always be those who are suspicious of private sector involvement in humanitarian efforts. But he argues that IHP provides a pragmatic way for business to make a positive social contribution. The model could be applied beyond pharmaceuticals, he says, citing food and other consumables as areas where surplus goods could be put to good use.


The Financial Times Limited

By IHP, Dec 9 2014 02:16PM

International Health Partners (IHP) in partnership with Banco Farmaceutico and Action Medeor has launched EURMED; a unique industry collaboration that enables the donation of medicines for disaster relief and humanitarian aid.


The donation of medical supplies is crucial during disaster response, with pharmaceutical industry collaboration vital in enabling this. It is undoubted that a certainty of supply and speed of deployment saves lives during humanitarian relief, with EURMED specifically designed to make such a process easier for both those making the donations and those distributing the medicines.


In a message to IHP, The Prince of Wales said:


"International Health Partners are to be warmly commended for bringing together the pharmaceutical industry, health charities, international aid agencies, governments and medical professionals to deliver humanitarian aid safely and securely to those most in need. It is a powerful testament to just what can be achieved when we work together. I can only hope that EURMED – the European pharmaceutical initiative being launched by I.H.P on the occasion of its tenth anniversary – will bring even more essential medicines to some of the world's most vulnerable communities."


EURMED is a unique collaborative way for the pharmaceutical industry to donate medicines safely and responsibly. It improves the access to medical treatment for the most disadvantaged by pooling resources across Europe. It also has a positive impact across the medicine supply chain by reducing waste and unnecessary destruction costs. Moreover, EURMED will be a powerful motivational tool for staff who can clearly see the impact their efforts are having during disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.


Anthony Dunnett, President of International Health Partners highlighted that:


"EURMED is an innovative new initiative from three leading European medical NGOs, designed to serve the European healthcare industry. Our online donation tool ensures secure and effective delivery of product to NGOs serving people in need: it matches supply and demand, tracks product to final destination and gathers feedback from the field."


The importance of a more co-ordinated approach has been driven by the fact that donating medicines is actually not that simple. It requires distinct expertise and a common set of standards, both of which EURMED will enable. The new system represents a step change in the capability of the pharmaceutical industry to collaborate and deliver increased medicines donations.


The support of the healthcare industry in Europe is crucial for the success of EURMED. This was recognised by Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman, Janssen* Europe, Middle East and Africa at EURMED’s launch event at Spencer House in London, who noted:


"Johnson & Johnson is proud to have been involved with IHP since its foundation and a supporter of EURMED from its inception. EURMED is a significant opportunity for the pharmaceutical industry to make a real difference to the donation of vital medical supplies to the World Health Organisation and other NGOs during both immediate disaster relief and ongoing humanitarian support programmes. We would encourage all our peer companies to become fully engaged in this unique programme that can make a real difference to those in need."


* Janssen is the pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson.


Media Contact

Will Browne

wbrowne@apcoworldwide.com

APCO Worldwide

020 7526 3662 / 07585002268


About EURMED’s Founders


 action medeor is based in Germany and is the largest medical aid organisation in Europe

 Banco Farmaceutico is based in Italy and tackles health poverty within Europe

 IHP is based in the UK and is the largest co-ordinator of donated medicines in Europe





By IHP, Nov 30 2014 07:24PM

In the last few weeks, the infection rates for the virus have grown significantly, and the local healthcare system does not have the resources required to be able to isolate and contain the virus. The number of patients being infected is doubling every 3 weeks.


The most urgent need in Sierra Leone is for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This affords healthcare workers the protection they need against the virus when working in close quarters with infected (or suspected infected) patients. We are also aware of significant needs for personal hygiene and disinfectant products.


We have sent a number of shipments to IMC in Liberia and Sierra Leone for their Ebola Treatment Centres, and two 40 foot containers of medicines and hygiene supplies to World Hope International to provision their Community Care Centres and local hospitals.





By IHP, Mar 26 2014 09:00AM

International Health Partners (IHP), today signed an agreement with Dr Enrique T. Ona, Secretary of Health, Republic of Philippines, to deliver a donation of 5 million doses of measles-rubella (MR) vaccine to the country. This donation, along with other such donations, will enable the vaccination of 13 million under-five children during a mass immunization campaign to be undertaken in September 2014 in conjunction with the World Health Organization.


The first six weeks of 2014 saw over 3,691 confirmed measles cases reported in the Philippines, which compares to only 2,956 confirmed cases in the whole of 2013. The ongoing effects of Typhoon Yolanda that hit the country and wider South-East Asia in November 2013, killing over 6,000 people and displacing millions more has exacerbated the spread of measles across the Philippines. The increased number of cases in the last quarter of 2013 prompted the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) to conduct a “catch-up” measles vaccination campaign early this year in the National Capital Regions and two adjacent regions of the country where excessively high number of measles cases were observed.


Children aged 9 to 59 months are most at risk from measles and therefore will be the principal target of the mass immunisation effort. It is estimated that the vaccine donation will protect 5 million under-five children against measles, and will help reduce the risk of premature death caused by serious measles complications. The initiative is a direct response by the Philippines DOH to the increased measles cases and will seek to achieve 95% immunization coverage. The Department previously delivered a highly successful vaccination programme in 2011 which resulted in a significant reduction in measles and rubella transmissions in 2012.


The donation of the 5 million doses of MR vaccine is being made by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest manufacturer of measles vaccines. The Institute, founded in 1966, will also make available a further 6 million doses, at cost, to UNICEF. HRH The Prince of Wales visited the Serum Institute in Pune during his tour to India in November 2013. During that visit, Cyrus Poonawalla, Founder of the SII, and Adar Poonawalla, Executive Director of the SII, offered to donate five million vaccines to a country of The Prince's choosing.


As Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines while the Prince was in India, he felt that was where the vaccines could be most immediately beneficial. The Prince of Wales then consulted with International Health Partners, a charity of which he is patron, about working with the relevant agencies to get the vaccines to the Philippines.


Dr Enrique T. Ona, Secretary of Health, Republic of Philippines said:


“The country joins me in thanking His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, and the Serum Institute for this gift, a very generous life saving donation. The country also recognises the not-for-profit relief and development organisation, International Health Partners, who responded on the very day the need for the vaccination programme was identified.”


Dr Julie Hall, Country Representative, WHO Philippines said:


“The World Health Organization Philippines is delighted to be part of this important health initiative. Measles is a serious and highly contagious respiratory disease that can be prevented with this safe and effective vaccine. Given the rise of confirmed measles cases, it is very important that all children are protected against the disease. This donation will go a long way to ensure that all 13 million children under the age of 5 in the Philippines have a chance to be vaccinated.”


Anthony Dunnett, President of International Health Partners explains:


“The pressing need to deliver a measles vaccination programme in the Philippines demonstrates the ongoing impact of Typhoon Yolanda. International Health Partners is delighted to be able to facilitate a partnership between the Philippines Department of Health, the World Health Organization and the Serum Institute of India, by utilising our own decade long experience in humanitarian relief to deliver this vital initiative. We are extremely grateful to our patron, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, for enabling this important donation.”


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