October 2022
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A Note from Elizabeth (EJ) Ashbourne, PQMD Executive Director

I have just returned from our first in-person Education Forum in 3 years, and it was such a treat to be back together in Seattle for this remarkable event. I would like to send a special thank you to our host sponsors, Medical Teams International, for a truly unforgettable experience! Forum attendees spent time discussing important issues including trends in medical donations and sustainability in the face of major disruptors. We also had the opportunity to highlight partnerships and to physically diagram the cross-partnerships and interconnectedness of our members. Look for more updates from the event in the newsletter below.

For the month of November, I’m looking forward to our next Pillar Talk on rare diseases. This will be an opportunity to learn more about PQMD’s GARDaccess initiative. Learn more and register here.

After the success of our Education Forum, I am already looking forward to our Global Health Policy Forum (GHPF) being held in Paris, France in April. The topic of this meeting will be Global Health in a Changing Era: The View from Europe. During the GHPF, we will be discussing the new European health policies and the philanthropic landscape including topics such as ESG, philanthropy in Europe, innovation in finance, climate change and it’s impact on global health, and the green and digital health transformation. It is really shaping up to be a stimulating and provocative meeting. Mark your calendars to join us in Paris April 24-27th, 2023, and keep an eye out for more information as we build the agenda and identify speakers!

I hope everyone who attended the Education Forum had a safe trip home. I look forward to seeing you again in April! 

PQMD Holds Education Forum in Seattle hosted by Medical Teams International

Last week, PQMD held its annual Education Forum in Seattle, Washington hosted by Medical Teams International. 

During the meeting, we spent time prioritizing current trends and discussing whether our processes and practices met the critical challenges of the last couple years. Members from different sectors highlighted current trends and discussed how they could lead to sustainability. During the “Bright Spot Partnership” session, members shared their partnerships highlighting innovation & growth in integrated programming, expanding logistics capacity, and last mile accountability.

Members also had the opportunity to discuss the major disruptors that have changed the way we approach sustainability and scale in our global health work. The panelists from NGOs and Corporate sectors reflected on a broad range of interconnected disruptors and the implications these shifts may have on global health outcomes. We held multiple working groups throughout the meeting to delve into these topics further.

There were numerous highlights that came out of these discussions including the idea that the “new normal” is just normal now and how members are rethinking delivery of service to achieve more efficiency and impact. The trends highlighted were COVID, CONFLICT and CLIMATE and how technology can be used to achieve our goals.

Our members also had many opportunities to network and have fun! On our last day, we held our General Management Meeting where we reviewed PQMD’s projects and opportunities and discussed progress from our different committees.

GARDaccess Initiative Update 

The GARDaccess initiative is on track to finish the online guidelines learning module by the end of November. The guidelines document (draft 3) will incorporate recent survey feedback and a completed final product will be available by end of November.

The team also continues to incorporate feedback on the framework and guidelines. The proposal for Phase 2 of the project is currently under development. 

If you have any questions about this initiative, please contact Harpreet Ram.

Stay Informed!

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn or one of our other social channels to get the latest, most up-to-date information on our Pillar Talks, courses, events, and resources. 

PQMD's Knowledge & Innovation Committee Holds First M&E Networking Session for PQMD Members 

The Knowledge & Innovation Committee held our first M&E networking sessions for PQMD members earlier this month. We welcomed ten organizations and collectively acknowledged the complexity involved in measuring the outcomes of our product donations work and therefore saw value in nurturing this technical capacity and open networking across PQMD members.  The group welcomed future topically based sessions. As a follow up, PQMD plans to host peer-driven M&E networking sessions; the first will be in November and will focus on establishing or revising your M&E framework for healthcare product donations. Please contact us if you are interested in joining. 

Join us for our Next Pillar Talk -
Rare Disease: Challenges in Accessing Medicines 

November 8th- 10-11am ET 

Rare genetic disorders collectively impact a significant portion of the world’s population. Although individually rare, collectively the 7,000+ rare disorders impact 400 million individuals worldwide. Access to life-saving medicine programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) presents a significant unmet need for patients living with rare disorders. For these individuals, challenges are further compounded by the paucity of diagnostic resources in a frail healthcare infrastructure, limited clinician access to rare disease educational programs, and limited or no access to life-saving medications due to lack of accessibility, affordability, and/or availability. There is a need to accelerate patient access to quality medicines, treatments, and services for rare diseases by harnessing the collective expertise of partners with shared values.

Join us on November 8th for PQMD’s Pillar Talk – Rare Diseases: Challenges in Accessing Medicine to learn more how industry and patient advocacy groups and experts are tackling these challenges and working to form the Global Alliance for Rare Disorders Access (GARDaccess) - a patient-centric alliance whereby everyone contributes in a meaningful way, shares a united voice, and cross-collaborates. Through the development of a set of guidelines to ensure safe and quality products and services for patients with rare disorders globally and the formation of a strategic, integrated operating model for global access to rare disease therapies, the mission of GARDaccess is to bring hope and promise to individuals living in LMICs by providing seamless access to life-saving therapies.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Sara Aswegan, Head of Rare Disease Commercial and Asset Strategy, Chief of Staff, UCB
  • Harpreet Ram, President, EVR Consulting
  • Durhane Wong-Rieger, President & CEO, Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders
Register Now!

PQMD holds Pillar Talk: Long-term Strategies to Support Disaster Recovery: Multi-Sector Perspectives- Recording Now Available

Each disaster is unique, and each requires unique responses. While there is a structured system of managing disasters that includes the four central tenets of mitigation, prevention, response, and recovery, each stage of response is dependent on many factors including but not limited to severity, length, infrastructure, need, and the next disaster.

All disasters and phases of disaster management also hinge on the availability of resources. While the onset of a disaster can result in an influx of compassion and financial generosity from donors and individuals, often media attention fades and donors’ hearts and wallets are diverted as subsequent disasters strike. This can leave recovering communities with dwindling resources that affect their ability to build back, and more importantly, to build back better. How do we ensure that impactful resources are still available to communities that are facing the aftermath of a disaster for years or even decades?

If you missed the Pillar Talk, you can now view the recording to learn from government, corporate, and non-profit disaster management experts as they reflect on the individual and collective resources that can have a meaningful impact for affected communities. To view the Phases of Disaster Response document, click here

View Recording

CoP Disaster Coordination Mechanism for Members

When disasters strike around the world, PQMD members are often on the front lines delivering lifesaving medicines and providing immediate relief to the affected populations. Coordinating these efforts is key to an impactful response.

PQMD’s Community of Practice Members Only Disaster and Response Discussion section offers members a platform to post current and up-to-date response information including but not limited to: sitreps, needs lists, coordination all-calls and recordings, funding opportunities, and logistical information. You can also access an information and resource sharing platform for PQMD Members and their colleagues responding to the Ukraine crisis here.

This real-time platform can streamline efforts, expand equitable response rates, increase the impact of limited resources, and ultimately improve the rate and capacity of delivering critical medical support to those who need it most.

Project Hope Increases Access to Essential Immunizations for Polio in Ethiopia

With a generous grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Project HOPE and VillageReach have launched a new program to stop polio transmission and prevent new outbreaks in Ethiopia. Together, they are working in coordination with the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia to improve polio sample transport systems by building the knowledge and skills of the local workforce, providing equipment, and creating digital data tools to track results and strengthen polio surveillance.

In addition, also with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Project HOPE is supporting the Government of Ethiopia to eradicate polio within internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and surrounding communities in the Northern regions. Using vaccine delivery modalities such as supplementary immunization activities, outreach, and mobile approaches, the Project aims to increase polio vaccine coverage to 90%. To date, Project HOPE has provided 935 children with immunization services, and trained 13 health care workers on immunization and surveillance.

Group of volunteers from St. John Ambulance packing Humanitarian Medical Kits bound for Ukraine, dated April 2, 2022 at HPIC Oakville Distribution Centre. (Source: HPIC)

Takeda Releases 2022 Access to Medicines Report 

More than two billion people around the world still do not have access to medicines, with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) often facing the highest burden of disease. Takeda is committed to broadening sustainable access to their innovative medicines in LMICs and in countries with evolving healthcare systems. They do this by working collaboratively to strengthen local healthcare systems and by addressing barriers to access at each stage of the patient journey.

Takeda's 2022 Progress Report articulates their approach to access to medicines and highlights key initiatives aimed at broadening access in LMICs by building sustainable capacity, creating innovative affordability programs and collaborating with policymakers to drive meaningful change.

To read the report, visit Takeda's website here. 

Americares Restores Health Facility in Florida after Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian ripped through Charlotte County at the end of September and caused lasting, catastrophic damage. It dealt significant damage to the Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic, a free and charitable clinic for Port Charlotte which provides lifesaving pharmacy services and primary care. This clinic is a critical safety net for so many in Port Charlotte.

The clinic suffered major roof damage and leaks from the storm. Americares launched into action on the ground to help the clinic get up and running after the storm, providing emergency funding to replace damaged equipment and gas cards, so staff could travel to the clinic.

According to the clinic's CEO, Suzanne Roberts, it would not be able to reopen its doors if it weren't for Americares.

Watch Americares' video here.

Upcoming Events

In the Face of Localization: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)
November 1, 2022; 10am ET

PQMD Pillar Talk - Rare Disease: Challenges in Accessing Medicines
November 8, 2022, 10-11AM ET

Development2030- Beyond Aid
November 16-17, 2022; Brussels, Belgium

State of Disaster Philanthropy 2022: COVID-19 and Beyond
November 17, 2022; 2pm ET

2023 Concordia Americas Summit
March 9-10, 2022; Miami, Florida

2023 PQMD Global Health Policy Forum
April 24-27, 2022; Paris, France

Does your organization have news to share?
 Beth Haynes for placement in future newsletters.
Next Month's Theme: Diseases 

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