Access: Guidelines for medicine donations

Guidelines for medicine donations



We will only accept oral prescriptions for use in our local and international programs. Due to health regulations, donated prescriptions suit the below guidelines. If you have any questions regarding prescription donations, please call us at 323.793.6107

UN agencies and international and nongovernmental organizations are increasingly called upon to respond to large-scale emergencies to prevent and manage serious threats to the survival and health of the affected populations. Guidelines for medicine donations in emergencies have been developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in cooperation with major international agencies active in humanitarian relief. 

Guideline Booklet - Click Here to Download or on the pdf document:

  • Guidelines for medicine donations (page 8)

  • Selection of medicines (page 8)

  • Presentation, packaging and labelling (page 10)

  • Information and management (page 11)

  • Guidance to donors and recipients (page 12)

  • Collaboration, roles and responsibilities (page 12)

  • Guidance to donors (page 14)

  • Examples of problems with medicine donations (page 19)

  • References (page 20)

Summary of the Guidelines for appropriate medication donation practices 

1.  Key core principles for good medical product donation

  • Donations should benefit the recipient and meet the needs of the end-users and patient.

  • Recipients should be engaged in all stages of the donation process in order to enable effective coordination and collaboration between the donor and the recipient.

  • Donations should be given with due respect for the wishes and authority of the recipient, and in conformity with the government policies, regulatory requirements and administrative arrangements of the recipient country.

  • Prescription medicine with at least 6 months before expiration.

  • Bottles must be sealed or the pills in blister packs that you 'push out'. Partial bottles from your pharmacy are not acceptable.

  • We do not accept medicine that is expired or needs refrigeration.

  • Good-dated (not expired) drug samples from your physician.

         * Meds on a Mission DOES NOT accept narcotics 

2.  Quick checklist for donors

  • The needs of the recipient guide the donation.

  • Laws, regulations and administrative procedures are respected.

  • The national guidelines on donation practices are followed.

  • A plan has been agreed with the recipient country.

  • Management of disposal of expired or unused products should be agreed in advance.


3.  Quick checklist for recipients

  • A national donation policy is formulated.

  • Needs are specified

  • Responsibility is assigned for allowing entry of useful donations or rejection of unsuitable donations.

  • A registry for recording data on donations is established.

  • Mechanisms for adequate handling of donations are in place.

This 3rd edition of Guidelines was published in 2010 for medicine donations by the World Health Organization (WHO) in cooperation with major international agencies active in humanitarian relief and development assistance.

These guidelines are intended to improve the quality of medicine donations in international development assistance and emergency aid. Good medicine donation practice is of interest to both donors and recipients