Connecting unopened, unexpired medications with patients
Existing models for redistributing surplus medicines tend to be costly and inefficient, meaning that many medicines, donated because they are close to their expiry date, expire in transit or while still in warehouses. Clinics are left to expend taxpayer funds, footing the bill for patient medications themselves, or go through the lengthy process of submitting requests for donations to specific manufacturers or facilities, in a process that is slow, unpredictable and piecemeal. Many patients simply go without the medications they need, which can ultimately send them to emergency rooms where they cost taxpayers much more money.
SIRUM is a conduit for manufacturers, wholesalers, hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies to donate unused medicines to clinics and the fifty million American patients who otherwise would not be able to afford them.
The platform, started in 2011 by three graduate students at Stanford, has already redistributed $3m in prescription medications to clinics serving the most disadvantaged patients in 87 cities.