The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD) is an alliance between pharma and nonprofits for the development and
delivery of medical products to the underserved and to disaster victims worldwide. The organization had its genesis in the
early 1990s during the Bosnian War, when reports surfaced of donations by pharmaceutical companies of expired medicines and
other unneeded drugs, delivered unannounced and inadequately packaged or labeled. According to James Russo, former head of
PQMD, the donations became "instead of a helpful event, a toxic one." Prompted by industry concern, the group was formed as
an alliance among pharma firms and on-the-ground nonprofits. It now provides billions of dollars of products and services
to areas in need.
Of the three principles, this one perhaps represents the biggest stretch on the part of competitive pharmaceutical companies.
Given that many corporations are still learning how to partner with one another as well as with governments, nonprofits, and
public-policy groups, it may take time before these alliances become commonplace. Yet this principle, too, will increasingly
underlie innovative partnerships as pharmaceutical companies push alliances into new territory.
Waseem Noor is a principal at IMS Health, specializing in strategy development, portfolio management, and decision process design. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org