Health and Pharmaceuticals

Through our specialist expertise in expanding access to medicines, pharmaceuticals and essential healthcare equipment, Greenshields Cowie has contributed to saving millions of lives around the world.

Our work ensures crucial healthcare products reach the people who need them most; whether it be malaria-preventing bed nets throughout South Sudan, or urgently needed medical treatments to communities in Sierra Leone. We specialise in expediting the international movement, storage and final distribution of highly sensitive health and medical commodities, including cold chain. By unblocking barriers and building local capacity, we help create efficient and effective health supply chain systems right through to the last mile.


Greenshields Cowie designs and implements end-to-end, high performing supply solutions, supporting private and donor health-sector commodity programmes as a specialist partner.

Using our control tower operational model, we can improve planning, driving supplier performance and finding opportunities for innovation, as well as ensuring the secure, accurate and traceable delivery of sensitive goods to remote populations. This capability makes our approach particularly appropriate for delivering pharmaceutical and medical supplies into difficult to reach areas, often within high-risk security settings.


To prevent the spoilage of medicines and pharmaceuticals, there often needs to be a cold chain of coordinated, temperature-controlled environments to store, manage and transport the products.

Greenshields Cowie has an impressive track record in supporting temperature-controlled medical supply chains for clients around the world. During our work transporting Covid-19 vaccines on behalf of the UK Government we have not lost any vaccines to spoilage; this is due to our commitment to maintaining the cold chain at all stages of the journey.

COVID-19: the greatest logistical challenge the world has ever faced

With our global footprint, network of trusted suppliers and expertise in getting crucial health commodities to challenging destinations, we were uniquely placed to assist our clients with their COVID-19 response when the pandemic began.

Over the last two years, Greenshields Cowie has supported major world donors, governments and NGOs in their COVID-19 emergency response activities, with operations including:

  • Delivering 250 tons of PPE cargo, including swabs, test kits, and hand sanitizer
  • Handling over 980 shipments, with 24 still in progress
  • Loading 1,300,000 hygiene products on trucks destined for Syria
  • Transporting over 5 million vaccines to countries around the world

Responding to Ebola in Sierra Leone

When the Ebola epidemic took hold in Sierra Leone in 2014, we flew 2,111 tonnes of emergency aid into Freetown on charter flights landing every 48 hours.

The team worked throughout the outbreak to make sure that the treatment centres received everything they needed when they needed it, from their initial construction all the way through to the steady decline and eventual suppression of the virus.

By keeping open this vital supply line we ensured that life-saving treatments could reach the Emergency Treatments Centres throughout the country. In 2015, we won a Global Freight Award in recognition of our outstanding services on this project.


  • 124 million treatments delivered throughout Northern Nigeria under the ASCEND programme
  • 3,500 tonnes of life-saving medicines delivered to over 800 health centres in South Sudan on behalf of the Crown Agents led Health Pooled Fund
  • 2 million kgs of emergency cargo, including 1,358 medical supply line items and 255 different medicines delivered throughout Sierra Leone in response to the Ebola epidemic
  • Ambient storage and transportation of 2,700 CBM of pharmaceutical cargo and vaccines at a centrally located consolidation warehouse in Lagos, Nigeria, in support of the UK Government funded Maternal, Newborn and Child Healthcare Programme
  • $23.5million of antiretroviral drugs and drugs to fight opportunistic infections distributed throughout West Africa under the UK Government funded ICOSA programme
  • Customs and express clearance for keep-cool cargo airfreight movements of 6,000 – 7,000kgs of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, with storage and onward delivery to Makeni City Limits, Sierra Leone, as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Programme (CHAMPS)
  • In our pharmaceutical grade warehouse in Sierra Leone, Greenshields Cowie has managed the warehousing services and temperature-controlled storage of the National Medical Supplies Agency’s Free Healthcare drugs and medicines in support of the UK Government’s Saving Lives Programme
  • 6,371 containers of 90,000 bed nets delivered to 18 countries, and hundreds of final destinations to protect more than 13.6 million people from malaria infection

MHRA and Good Distribution Practice (GDP)

Greenshields Cowie’s parent company, Crown Agents, holds a valid Wholesale Distribution Authorisation WDA (H) licence issued by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). As Crown Agents logistics supplier, we adhere to the principles of GDP in all pharmaceutical movements and have developed a range of standard operating procedures to support effective implementation. We have been audited by Crown Agents and other clients on our GDP and QMS compliance.

Working closely with our suppliers, we ensure that both local statutory and GDP compliance standards are met through all parts of the supply chain managed by Greenshields Cowie. This is achieved through a robust set of Quality Technical Agreements, Route Risk Assessments and standard operating procedures plus equipment checklists.