Leading with innovation, A conversation with IDA management: Wendy Eggen & Harm Veerkamp

Feb 21, 2024 | WhoisNCDconnect

NCD’s are responsible for 74% of global deaths, and continues to grow. IDA Foundation over 50 years of demonstrated expertise and experience in medical supply chains, delivering to over 130 countries. There is a strong alignment of the global need and our ability to contribute to the solution; thus NCDconnect was launched! To the IDA management team, NCDconnect is a critical means of strengthening global access to essential and innovative medicines.

Harm & Wendy

Let’s hear more from Wendy Eggen, CEO of IDA Foundation, and Harm Veerkamp, Director of Procurement Services.


Q: Tell me about yourself, and the work culture you foster as the management team of IDA Foundation?

Wendy: I take immense pride in being a part of IDA Foundation; my journey began in 2004, and it has been a roller coaster in the most positive way. Our diverse team, hailing from various backgrounds and nationalities, is a constant source of inspiration. At IDA, we’ve cultivated a professional and open atmosphere, encouraging colleagues to seek guidance, support, and learn from one another. While our commitment to our mission is unwavering, we also emphasize reflection and relaxation during outings and events. Many colleagues have become close friends, shaping the IDA culture into a fantastic place to work. Our people are our greatest asset, and celebrating their unique differences is integral. What unites us is our collective drive to bridge the gap in access to medicines and medical supplies, aligning with the diverse communities we serve.

Harm: Embracing the entrepreneurial mindset and the rapid pace of implementation at IDA is a daily source of satisfaction for me. The cultural diversity aligns seamlessly with my preferences. A graduate in food science, business studies, and extension services from Wageningen University, my early interest in involving communities in the adoption of innovations in agriculture in LMIC paved the way for my career. Having worked and traveled extensively globally in sales, procurement, and business leadership roles, these experiences prove invaluable in my current role at IDA.

Q: What are your drivers in the field of global health?

Wendy: My drivers in the field of global health remain consistent since my start at IDA. In the Netherlands, we benefit from a robust health system with readily available preventive tools, diagnostics, and treatments. I believe this should be universal. The pursuit of universal health coverage propels me and the organization forward. Achieving this long-term goal involves assuring product quality, ensuring affordability, availability, strengthening local capacity, and creating awareness around universal health coverage topics. We share knowledge, collaborate with local agents and distributors, procure locally whenever possible, and prioritize the health, well-being, and safety of everyone involved in our processes. Sustainable value chains drive our efforts.

NCDconnect delivers comprehensive portfolios of medicines and diagnostics, along with knowledge, to buyers as close to the patient as possible, in a highly affordable manner. We aim to have an evolving knowledge supporting the listing of innovative medicines and biosimilars. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the connection between manufacturers, both generic and originators, facilitating efficient access programs based on clear forecasts and demand expectations.

Harm Veerkamp

Q: What drove your transition from the private to nonprofit sector?

Harm: My enduring interest in the greater good, innovation, and sustainability guided my career. In 2016, I founded my own company in AMS and Shanghai, and a fortuitous openness to change in 2020 led to my move. Summarily, I shifted from companies with a purpose to a job with a purpose.

Q: What are the drivers behind the foundation entering the NCD market, beyond infectious diseases?

Harm: The growing demand for access to NCD medicines and medical supplies, coupled with the remarkable competencies and expertise we and our partners have developed over the years, steered our entry. In the context of universal health coverage and SDG 3, we recognized the need for a focused country disease approach to jointly address the supply chain and procurement challenges with selected partners and countries. This journey began three years ago.

Q: Why do you think NCDconnect is important? What gaps is it filling, and why is IDA well-positioned to fill these gaps?

Wendy: NCDconnect is crucial because progress and funding for non-communicable diseases lag behind, particularly in LMICs where 77% of related deaths occur. Accelerating progress is our aim with NCDconnect, simplifying the procurement process for affordable, quality-assured NCD medicines and medical supplies. Bridging the gap between buyers and suppliers while sharing knowledge is at the core of NCDconnect. IDA’s experience, “can do” mentality, and not-for-profit pricing strategy uniquely position us to make NCDconnect a success.

Q: What impact do you hope to have through NCDconnect, and through the ecosystem approach?

Harm: I aspire to reach individuals living with NCDs, ensuring they have quality-assured medicines consistently. NCDconnect delivers comprehensive portfolios of medicines and diagnostics, along with knowledge, to buyers as close to the patient as possible, in a highly affordable manner. As a not-for-profit organization, IDA aims to cover its costs, with the platform’s evolving knowledge supporting the listing of innovative medicines and biosimilars. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the connection between manufacturers, both generic and originators, facilitating efficient access programs based on clear forecasts and demand expectations.


For inquiries and to explore potential partnerships, feel free to reach out to us at ncd@idafoundation.org.

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