For healthcare professionals only

Education And Debate

Guidelines for drug donations

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 08 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:737
  1. H V Hogerzeil, medical officera,
  2. M R Couper, medical officerb,
  3. R Gray, consultantc
  1. a Action programme on essential drugs, World health organisation, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
  2. b Division of drug management and policies, WHO
  3. c Division of emergency and humanitarian action, WHO
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Hogerzell
  • Accepted 22 November 1996


Drug donations are usually given in response to acute emergencies, but they can also be part of development aid. Donations may be given directly by governments, by non-governmental organisations, as corporate donations (direct or through private voluntary organisations), or as private donations to single health facilities. Although there are legitimate differences between these donations, basic rules should apply to them all. This common core of “good donation practice” is the basis for new guidelines which have recently been issued by the World Health Organisation after consultation with all relevant United Nations agencies, the Red Cross, and other major international agencies active in humanitarian emergency relief. This article summarises the need for such guidelines, the development process, the core principles, and the guidelines themselves and gives practical advice to recipients and donor agencies.


    • Accepted 22 November 1996
    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription