All this attention on donated medicine got me wondering just how big the sector is.
There is a small number of charities receiving big volumes of medicine donated by the pharmaceutical companies. Those charities then get all those meds distributed to charity clinics and hospitals around the world. That is incredible work which is improving the lives of millions upon millions of poor people around the world.
So, how large is that sector? Here is a bit of research.
For the charities I’m aware of, plus those that have been in the news over the last eight years or so, plus those on the record as being opposed to AB 1181, I looked up their most recent 990 on their website. For a few of the charities there wasn’t a 990 visible (or at least I couldn’t find it) so I pulled the most recent 990 from the California Registry of Charitable Trusts.
Data tabulated below is:
- total revenue from 990 Part I line 12,
- non-cash donations from 990 Part VIII line 1g (referred to as gifts-in-kind or GIK), and
- disclosed amount of drugs and medical supplies on Schedule M line 20.
Amounts are converted to millions, then rounded.
Last column in the table is the dollar amount of drugs & medical supplies divided by total revenue. A higher percentage shows larger portion of income from donated meds, and thus a higher likelihood AB 1181 will have a bigger impact on the financials.
Only charities with over $20 million of donated meds and supplies are listed; charities below that level are excluded.
Summary of results
Table below includes 17 charities. Another 17 whose volume of donated meds is below $20M each are not listed.
I think there may be another dozen charities with donated meds in this sector. As I come across additional names and look up their 990s, this table will be updated.
For the not-for-profit organizations (NFP) listed, total revenue is about $8.9 billion, total donated items are about $8.1 billion, and donated drugs and supplies are about $7.5 billion.