Planning a pharmacy-led medical mission trip, part 1: focus on medication acquisition

Ann Pharmacother. 2012 May;46(5):751-9. doi: 10.1345/aph.1Q531. Epub 2012 May 1.


Pharmacists can be involved in many functions of the medical mission team. Particularly, they can play a large role in formulary development, acquisition of medications, and organization of medications before and during the mission trip. Important factors for consideration in formulary development and logistical planning include the group's budget; importation laws and regulations of the country being visited; transportation and storage of medications and supplies; disease states anticipated; whether controlled substances will be included; whether medical or surgical procedures will be provided; age distribution and languages of the population to be treated; whether sample medications will be used; handling of unused medications and supplies after the trip; and considerations of the population's cultural beliefs. Various organizations are available to provide medications for medical mission efforts at little to no cost, and knowledge of these organizations will help to facilitate the process of medication acquisition. Additionally, pharmacists can provide insight regarding the logistical set-up and workflow considerations during the mission experience.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Storage
  • Drug and Narcotic Control
  • Formularies as Topic / standards*
  • Health Planning Guidelines*
  • Humans
  • Medical Missions / economics
  • Medical Missions / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Medical Missions / organization & administration*
  • Pharmaceutical Services / economics
  • Pharmaceutical Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Pharmaceutical Services / organization & administration*
  • Prescription Drugs / economics*
  • Professional Role


  • Prescription Drugs