What We Do & How We Do It
Nearly two billion people living in poverty around the world do not have access to basic medicine and medical supplies. MAP International (MAP) provides medicine and health supplies to those in need. In our efforts to help the largest amount of people – and have the greatest impact – we seek out and work with companies that are willing to provide product donations of essential medicines and health supplies – as well as other related supplies and support services. These are called “Gifts-in-Kind” (GIK), as we do not pay for them. In turn, MAP takes these Gifts-in-Kind and leveraging our vast distribution network and vetted partnerships, we distribute these medicines and health supplies to those most in need.
About Gifts-in-Kind – And Why We Use Them
In addition to our fundraising activities and requests for donor support, we actively seek out and invite donations of Gifts-in-Kind because it allows us to maximize our impact, providing infinitely more medicine and health supplies than we could purchase from donations alone. This is why we can make the statement that “over the course of our prior three fiscal years, for every dollar you contribute, we provided more than $70 in medicine and health supplies to people in need.” In light of our stated mission – to provide medicine and health supplies to those in need around the world so they might experience life to the fullest – we strongly believe that combining your donated dollars with these Gifts-in-Kind is the most effective way to meet this commitment.
Why are we telling you all of this? Because we understand that there are many worthwhile organizations that you can support and in each case you have the right to fully understand how your donations will be put to use. So, if you are interested in more of the details related to our operations and accounting, please keep reading.
For organizations that accept Gifts-in-Kind, these GIK donations typically make up a large percentage of such organization’s annual revenue and that is the case with MAP. Our financial statements separately account for both cash and the Gifts-in-Kind that we receive. Please note that our activities are planned and executed on an operating (or cash) budget that is approved by the Board of Directors prior to the onset of our fiscal year. A fiscal year is the 12-month period of time that an organization uses for accounting purposes to measure its financial performance. MAP’s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. The cash budget is not directly affected by the value of Gifts-in-Kind received, meaning that what we spend is not – dollar for dollar – affected by the value of the Gifts-in-Kind that we may receive in any given fiscal year. The cash donations we bring in through our fundraising efforts are used, in part, to pay for the storage, transportation and distribution of the medicine and health supplies, as well as expenses related to “overhead,” such as staff salaries, rents and other program expenses.
 For more detailed information, please see our annual 990 and Audited Financial Statements, which can be found here: https://www.map.org/financials
A challenge for any organization that receives Gifts-in-Kind is how to value these gifts from an accounting perspective. Because they are gifts, and we are not actually paying for them with dollars, there is no definitive price associated with such gifts. Just as, for example, supplies such as paper towels or milk might differ from store to store – and from city to city – so does the perceived value of these Gifts-in-Kind. In accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) for valuing Gifts-in-Kind, MAP assigns an estimated “fair market value” to all of these Gifts-in-Kind. Fair market value is the price a product would sell for on the open market assuming that both the buyer and seller are behaving rationally and in their own self-interest and have similar knowledge about the product and its general value.
The “Nuts & Bolts” – How We Assign Fair Market Value for Gifts-in-Kind of Medicines
Please note that for the purposes of these discussions, when we speak about valuing Gifts-in-Kind, we are talking only about the medicine we receive, which makes up the highest overall value of the Gifts-in-Kind received by MAP each year. (Please note that for all the various types of Gifts-in-Kind that we receive, we have established processes to help us calculate the fair market value). Though it sounds simple enough, because of the varied medicines we receive from corporations around the world, and because we deliver these medicines globally, assigning a fair market value takes a good amount of thought. Because we then list these fair market values in our accounting and related calculations, it is even more important that we do our best to find a reasonable and justifiable fair market value.
What does that mean? The complex nature of commercial transactions around pharmaceutical reimbursement and the absence of a validated pharmacy pricing source based on actual sales transactions creates serious obstacles to recording fair market value. As a licensed wholesale pharmacy, MAP International aligns its fair market valuation of donated medicine closely to the market value assigned by commercial counterparts in the pharmaceutical wholesaler industry.
For those medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, we use wholesale values, which approximates the fair market value based upon the Wholesale Acquisition Cost – or “WAC”. While WAC is not based on actual sales transactions, it is legally defined in the Social Security Act: “Section 1847A(c)(6)(B) of the Act defines WAC as the manufacturer’s list price for the drug to wholesalers or direct purchasers, not including prompt pay or other discounts, rebates, or reductions, for the most recent month for which information is available.” WAC is the undiscounted list price that manufacturers report to publishing companies, such as First Databank and Thompson Reuters, which use this data to produce pricing compendia. The price wholesalers charge pharmacies for a drug is generally based on WAC. Several states already base their Medicaid reimbursement policy on WAC values found in published pricing compendia.
In order to find WAC value from a third party verifiable source, MAP International uses First Databank which is an industry recognized drug and pricing reference guide for pharmaceuticals in the United States. First Databank’s drug databases are compiled by highly trained and experienced clinical staff from the most relevant sources of drug product information, such as the FDA and trusted medical and pharmacy journals. We believe that relying on this guide provides an accurate and fair valuation of the medicine and health supplies donated to MAP.
For non-FDA-approved pharmaceuticals – including products manufactured for use in non-U.S. markets – MAP has determined to value globally sourced non-FDA medicines and other health commodities according to an average of current market data derived from international pharmacy retail websites to obtain a reasonable fair market value. When a donation originates from a country with validated pricing information (i.e., UK National Health Service formulary pricing), this will be used in lieu of international pharmacy cost data.
What About Health Supplies?
Most health supplies and medical equipment are not found in First Databank, so other sources are relied upon for the determination of fair value. A limited number of supply items are listed in First Databank. If there is a National Drug Code (NDC) number match, this WAC value is recorded as fair market value. In the absence of an NDC match, MAP will look to distributor catalogs, wholesaler catalogs, and similar sources for fair market value. Health supplies without First Databank or catalog pricing will be valued according to an average of current market data derived from retail websites to obtain a reasonable fair market value. As with finding fair market values for medicine, we always strive to take a conservative and thoughtful approach.
Why is this Gift-in-Kind Information Important?
As most organizations don’t provide this amount of detail, you might be wondering why we are, and why it is important. Above all else, MAP believes in and always strives for accountability and transparency. Put another way, as we continue to pursue our mission to provide medicine and health supplies to those in need, we recognize that we have an obligation to our donors to undertake these efforts in the most efficient ways possible and to let you know the methods we are using to achieve and measure our efforts.
So as noted above, over the course of our prior three fiscal years, for every dollar we spent, we provided more than $40 in medicine and health supplies to people in need. We can make this statement because of the generous Gifts-in-Kind donations we receive, and our relatively low expenses. In the past 3 fiscal years, we provided over $2 billion in medicine and health supplies, including donated and purchased products, with just under $48 million in total cash expenses. These types of statements are derived in part from the calculations and estimates we use to value our Gifts-in-Kind, so it is very important that we are always being prudent, reasonable and practical in making these calculations and corresponding statements. Providing you with more information on these topics and details about our specific approach allows you to have a better understanding of what these types of statements mean and how we can make them. We hope that by providing you with this additional information and context, we are also providing you with confidence that we continue to be a worthwhile consideration for your hard-earned dollars.
Should you have any other questions, concerns or comments, please email us at: email@example.com or call us at 1-800-225-8550.