What is IDA Foundation?

IDA Foundation, originally known as the International Dispensary Association, is an independent social enterprise providing medicines and medical goods to healthcare organisations worldwide at the best price possible. Founded in 1972 and based in Amsterdam, we see our role as being the vital link that provides access to medicines for countries in need.

Who are IDA’s customers?

IDA works with a broad range of customers in more than 130 destinations, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries where access to quality medications is often limited. We supply to public sector entities such as Ministries of Health, but we also work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private or charity-run health facilities.

How do I become a customer of IDA Foundation?

As a wholesaler licensed by the Dutch Ministry of Health, IDA Foundation must comply with EU-Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines. Following these guidelines, we only distribute medicines to individuals or organisations in possession of wholesale distribution authorisation, or those who are authorised to supply medicines to the public.

If you or your organisation meet this requirement, please fill out this form to register as a customer of IDA. Only registered customers are allowed to place orders with IDA. If you are interested in browsing our product catalogue before registering, please see the Product Indicator.


How many products are supplied by IDA Foundation?

IDA's product range includes more than 3,000 medicines and medical supplies. More than 300 products are available from stock in Dubai; these represent our most frequently requested products and products as mentioned on WHO's EML. Specialised products include HIV- and TB-related items, emergency health kits, oncology treatments, and medicines for neglected tropical diseases.

Where are IDA's products manufactured?

IDA sources our products primarily from generic manufacturers in India and China. To a lesser extent, we also work with branded manufacturers in Europe (UK, Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Spain, Belgium, Italy). Many of the products that IDA supplies are relabeled with the IDA brand. IDA products are labeled in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Arabic. Other language labels may be available upon request.

How do I become an IDA supplier?

IDA Foundation works mainly with WHO prequalified or SRA approved manufacturers and suppliers. In case you want to become an IDA supplier, please reach out to our Purchase Team through contacting Beena Singh, she will then connect you to one of our team members.


How can I order medications or medical supplies from IDA Foundation?

Only registered customers are able to place orders with IDA. If you are not yet an IDA customer, please complete the customer registration form to begin the process. We encourage existing customers to login and download our e-catalogue and use it to create a request for quotation (RFQ). Once your RFQ is submitted to IDA's Wholesale department, it will be reviewed and a quotation will be issued with shipping options, terms and conditions, and payment information. You will have the opportunity to review and amend the quotation before confirming a firm order. Once an order is confirmed, it will be processed by a team of professionals who work together to serve specific geographic regions or large customers. You’ll receive information about expected delivery dates and be updated on the status of your order. The minimum order value is US$5,000.

What terms and conditions apply to orders?

The standard terms and conditions for orders placed with IDA Foundation can be found here.


What is the remaining shelf life of products supplied by IDA?

IDA Foundation strives to supply most products with at least 50% of total shelf life remaining. Customers can specify minimum shelf life requirements as part of their Request for Quotation and IDA will do our best to meet those requirements. It is our policy not to distribute medications with less than 6 months remaining shelf life. Products that reach this threshold are disposed of by IDA according to European safety guidelines.

What is the difference between generic and branded medicines?

A generic medicine is a copy of the original branded product, and is comparable to the original in dosage form, strength, quality and performance, and intended use. Most branded medications are patented. A patent gives the company that developed the medicine exclusive rights to produce and distribute their product, normally for a period of 20 years. Once the patent for the original product has run out, other companies - including generic manufacturers - are allowed to produce and sell the product. Generic manufacturers can sell their products for lower prices because they are not required to repeat the clinical trials of new medicines.  In addition, multiple generic companies compete in the marketplace, often resulting in lower prices. IDA prefers to supply generic products whenever possible, provided they meet our quality standards. We opt for branded products only when they are more affordable, required to meet funding requirements, or when there are still valid patents in place.


How will my goods be shipped?

At the time of quotation, customers receive an estimation of the shipment costs based on the selected shipping option (sea freight vs. air freight). IDA’s transport and planning professionals can assist customers in determining the best shipping arrangement to meet customer deadlines and to maximise efficiency.

What transport documents can IDA provide, and when?

After the order is packed, IDA will provide the following:

  • Bill of Lading / Airway bill
  • Packing list
  • Invoice
A Certificate of Analysis (CoA) will be provided for pharmaceutical products, but not for medical supplies.

How long will it take to receive my order?

Lead times depend on a number of factors, including product availability, stock position, and transit times. Products from IDA Foundation’s stock in Dubai can normally be dispatched in 2-4 weeks. For products that are not kept on stock in Dubai, delivery times vary. Estimated availability will be communicated at the time of quotation.

What are Incoterms?

Incoterms are standard trade definitions commonly used in international sales contracts to explain insurance, carriage, or risk of loss. The most common Incoterms are EXW (Ex works), FCA (Free Carrier), CPT (Carriage Paid To), CIP (Carriage And Insurance Paid To), DAT (Delivered At Terminal), DAP (Delivered At Place) and DDP (Delivered Duty Paid). Please click here for more information.


Why does IDA have its own label and packaging?

For IDA customers, our label and packaging signify high quality. IDA provides uniform labels and leaflets with the products we supply. The information is in accordance with our quality standards and based on the innovator product leaflet. We also use our own label so that we can provide our worldwide customer base with multi-lingual labels based on the customer or country need.

Does IDA also check the quality of WHO and SRA (USFDA) approved products?

IDA acknowledges product approval granted by WHO or a comparable strict regulatory authority (SRA), such as USFDA. However, to assure that the prequalified products we receive have the same specifications as the approved product, we request essential information from the dossier. In that way, we are able to verify the batches supplied by IDA through visual inspection, analytical control and verification audits.

Which quality certificates can IDA provide?

IDA can provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) with every batch. An exception might be made for products that are procured through a wholesaler and that are already on the market in a stringently regulated country, such as the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. A Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product (CPP) can be provided for all stock items. A CPP is issued by the national health authorities, and includes statements on whether or not the product is on the market in the country of origin, and the GMP status as assessed by the local authorities. Requesting a GMP certificate or a Free Sales certificate is not necessary when a CPP is requested, since GMP and Free Sales information is included in a CPP. It should be noted that the interpretation of GMP standards might differ between the different national authorities, and therefore the quality of information included in a CPP also might differ between countries.

If you have questions that are not addressed here, please contact us and your inquiry will be directed to the appropriate person.