Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Basic questions about the operation of Farmamundi

Up to the year 2000 Farmamundi selected and recovered some of the health drugs that were collected from local pharmacies. After a rigorous selection of the health drugs those which where suitable were sent to poor countries and the unfit were destroyed in processing plants approved to preserve the environment.

However, expired medicines increasingly arrived to our storage, containers opened or almost empty and unfit health drugs wherewith over the past few years Farmamundi looked more like a waste disposal site than a Humanitarian Agency. We spent more strength and money in destroying the medicines than to humanitarian shipments, which we had to complete with additional health drugs for specific illnesses of countries in need, as the leftover health drugs were not anti-malaria drugs, anti-tuberculosis medicines, nor complete treatments of antibiotics, vitamins, anti-parasites, etc…

In addition since the year 2000, The Spanish Medicines Agency (AEM) and The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that health-drugs are not allowed to be delivered as long as they have left pharmaceutical control, since their quality cannot be guaranteed and the export of used medications is no longer allowed. They are summarized in the following message: What is no longer good enough for us, is not good either for them. Accordingly, from the year 2000 Farmamundi applies the legislation strictly and we do not export any leftover medicine. At the same time, we developed a Central Purchasing of Medicines, today known as Logistical Humanitarian Department (ALH), for the cost priced supply of basic health drugs (generics and hospital packaging) including medical supplies, aimed to cooperation and emergency situations. For further information visit ALH on this web page.

Suitable donations and rational use of medicines. The best way to prevent the accumulation of health-drugs at home, it is by making a rational use of them, for both patients and dispenser packaging.

Nowadays, the leftover health-drugs must be taken to our local pharmacy and they are placed into the SIGRE container (Spanish Integrated Management System for Collecting Medicines), that is placed in every single Spanish pharmacy. SIGRE is in charge of destroying, under controlled conditions, all of the leftover medicines and recycling cardboard boxes, glass, paper, etc. to avoid environmental pollution.

At the moment, SIGRE is composed by Farmaindustria, the General Council of Pharmaceutical Associations of Spain and FEDIFAR (the Pharmaceutical Distribution), that is already working in the national territory and it finances the disposal of all leftover medicines, as is also complied with in many Europeans Countries.

The law is clear as far as the destruction of residual medical products. The polluter-pays the principle. According to the Law on Containers and Waste Containers (Law 1/1997 of April 24), the Pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, which is represented by SIGRE is responsible for carrying out the waste disposal medicines.

From the beginning back in 1993, Farmamundi accomplishes a rigorous and transparent job, always ensuring that aid arrives to the beneficiaries and the money collected through donations and in emergency response accounts are allocated to the places that were initially designated.

Therefore, it is important that members, donators and associates know that Farmamundi has been declared a Public Utility Institution in the year 2001 by the Ministry of Home Affairs. We are submitted for audit once a year, to ensure the highest transparency. In addition, the audited accounts are yearly published in the heading Las cuentas claras (Straight Accounting) on our Web page, to ensure that any interested person may have access to them.

As well as being concerned about maintaining a continuous improvement strategy in our labor and after achieving the maximum effectiveness and efficiency, the Organization is introducing a Quality Management System. Which we are investing a significant amount of human and economical resources.

Collaboration can be received in different ways:

  • As a member you can donate an annual fee which is designated by you, economically supporting our sanitary projects and shipments of medicines.
  • We accept volunteers in some of our headquarters around Spain, helping with administrative tasks or giving support to awareness-raising campaigns, educational projects, lectures, sanitary courses, photography exhibitions, etc.

If you are interested in projects of Sanitary Cooperation in the Southern Countries your help is welcome, but first we require specific training and also some experience in Sanitary Cooperation, it is therefore imperative that you have been collaborating with us for a while from our own Department of Projects, in order to have knowledge of the organizational projects.

Farmamundi does not hold any volunteering program at ground zero. The cooperation projects are conducted by professionals temporarily posted abroad and local staff, who are subsequently take control of the maintenance or gains achieved after the completion of the project.

If you want to collaborate with us, our recommendation is to assist at the central organization headquarters in Valencia Spain, where the Project Department is located, so you are able to learn the functioning of the organization and the stages to be taken to develop a project of sanitary cooperation. This step is imperative to ensure at the ground zero effective cooperation. Volunteers may also collaborate at any of our headquarters that we have in Spain learning previous knowledge of our work.

Additionally, further information about the volunteer programs of other Spanish Non-Governmental Organizations you can contact the coordinator of Non-Governmental Development Organizations in Spain.

If you are interested in collaborating with us, we suggested that you come along to meet us at any of our headquarters so that you can see how we work and if you wish to join us.

The sanitary professionals, mainly pharmaceuticals, may be able to collaborate in the Humanitarian Logistic Department (Central Headquarters in Valencia), that is in charge of preparing and management of the shipping of medicines and sanitary equipment to poverty countries.

Furthermore, you may also collaborate in the Project Departments, Administration and above all in awareness projects and activities at any of our headquarters (carry out our sanitary lessons, informative stands located at showgrounds, conferences, lectures, training sessions, etc.)

Farmamundi finances itself by the yearly quotas of our members, by donations from our sponsors and associates, as well as with the economical donations from private companies.

Additionally, an alternative source of funding is by operating activities such as sales, training courses and lotteries. Finally, projects for cooperation to development, emergencies and awareness are primarily funded by subsidiaries from public and private institutions.

De conformidad con lo dispuesto por la Ley Orgánica 15/1999, de 13 de diciembre, de Protección de Datos de carácter personal, consiento que mis datos sean incorporados a un fichero responsabilidad de Farmacéuticos Mundi y que sean tratados con la finalidad de gestionar la relación como socio, donante o colaborador e informarle sobre la organización.
He leído y estoy conforme con la cláusula anterior.