Do Aid Agencies Want to Know When Their Medicines Go Missing?

Roger Bate | 03 Dec 2010
American Enterprise Institute
Lifesaving drugs donated by taxpayers to developing countries are being stolen, strengthening criminal gangs and undermining donor intent. More worryingly, some donors are not investigating this problem sufficiently; rather, they are moving ahead with programs that have the same inherent weaknesses, which may worsen the theft problem. The U.S. government should conduct an independent review of practices at donor agencies such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM) to ensure that drugs are used by those intended, rather than facilitating illegal parallel drug-distribution systems in recipient countries. The incentive structure should change so donors receive taxpayer funds only when they show that the drugs they buy actually reach intended patients in developing countries, not just government medical stores.

Full Health Policy Outlook available at