FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the R-O-W Foundation?
The R-O-W in ROW Foundation stands for “Rest of World;” those under-resourced areas where millions suffer needlessly.

It’s common in many industries to identify primary and secondary markets. Among large pharmaceutical companies (known as “Big Pharma”), the primary market is the U. S. and Canada, the five or six wealthiest nations of Europe, and Japan. India and China are emerging pharmaceutical markets. The rest of the world is referred to as ROW (Rest of World). Big Pharma products typically aren’t marketed or readily available in ROW markets.

ROW’s focus is on helping people with epilepsy. We envision a future when life-giving and life-changing medications and other treatments will be available to ALL people, at ALL times, in ALL the world. In fulfilling that vision, we work to improve the quality of training, diagnosis and treatment available to persons living with epilepsy in under-resourced areas.
What is the mission of the ROW Foundation?
The ROW Foundation’s mission and charitable purpose is to improve the quality of training, diagnosis and treatment available to persons living with epilepsy in under-resourced areas of the world. We partner with other tax-exempt charities to maximize impact in reaching unreached areas, both domestic and international.

The ROW Foundation was launched in the summer of 2014. We are incorporated as a nonprofit in Illinois and registered with the Illinois Attorney General as a nonprofit charitable organization. We received our designation as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization in February 2015, and charitable contributions to the work of the ROW Foundation are fully tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.
How did the ROW Foundation get started?
After thirty years of successful leadership in the pharmaceutical industry, Scott Boyer knew he wanted to do something that would benefit others and create a legacy. The diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders in under-resourced areas were of particular concern to him. He knew the great disparity between how effectively epilepsy is treated in more economically developed countries and how misunderstood and ignored it is in the rest of the world.

Scott created the ROW Foundation to help address this inequity. He made the radical decision to fund its programs with revenue from a pharmaceutical company he helped start at about the same time—OWP Pharmaceuticals. OWP Pharmaceuticals manufactures and sells effective anti-epileptic and psychiatric drugs. The ROW Foundation is a shareholder of OWP Pharmaceuticals and funds its programs with the revenues generated by the sale of OWP epilepsy medications. This unique business model is a cornerstone of two organizations.
What is unique about the ROW Foundation’s financial structure and business model?
The ROW Foundation is NOT a short-term solution to a long-term problem. OWP Pharmaceuticals is the sustainable, ongoing economic engine that financially underwrites the ROW Foundation's programs. And as a shareholder of OWP Pharmaceuticals, the Foundation is assured of its funding source long-term. As the company grows, so does the charitable work of the ROW Foundation.

This is a unique approach to social enterprise. Instead of giving something to a person in need for every item sold—shoes, glasses, toothbrushes—ROW uses its share of the profits from OWP Pharmaceuticals to fund projects that will help thousands. And because the ROW Foundation is a shareholder of OWP Pharmaceuticals, the income that funds its charitable programs is stable and dependable and under the control of the ROW Foundation Board of Directors.
Who provides leadership for ROW?
The ROW Foundation has a President and Board of Directors, none of whom are financially compensated. These men and women serve from a sense of conviction and calling. Each one brings to the ROW Foundation a unique blend of skills, abilities, experience and passion for the fulfillment of our vision and mission.
Where does the ROW Foundation work?
Our focus is on under-resourced areas of the world. People living with epilepsy in resourced areas have access to knowledgeable health care professionals, modern and effective diagnostic tools, and treatment plans and drugs that can treat and/or cure epilepsy. People living in under-resourced areas may not have access to these services and medications because they’re unavailable or financially out of reach.

There are under-resourced areas in developed countries as well. Even in the U. S. there are under-resourced areas due to geographic isolation, poverty and other socio-economic factors.

In these under-resourced areas, the ROW Foundation funds:
• Training of health care and scientific professionals related to epilepsy
• Programs related to the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy
• Distribution of epilepsy-related treatments, supplies and medications

Learn more about living with epilepsy in under-resourced areas of the world.
What is the “Majority World?"
At the ROW Foundation we use the phrase "under-resourced areas" to refer to places around the globe that lack access to the training, diagnosis and treatments available to people in the U. S. and other economically developed countries. We intentionally don’t use phrases like "First World" and "Third World" as these convey a sense of ranking or superiority. We prefer the terms "developed" and "developing" to describe economic and modernization levels achieved that usually correlate with the availability of options for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.

A new synonym for "under-resourced world" and "developing world" is "majority world." It accurately conveys the truth that the majority of people living with the pain and stigma of epilepsy are in under-resourced areas, in developing countries, in the majority world. We want to turn things upside-down and work toward a world where the majority have access to the best training, diagnostic tools and treatments for epilepsy.
How does the ROW Foundation work?
The ROW Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations that carry out epilepsy-related projects—typically 501(c)(3) organizations. These partners are chosen for their proven ability to manage successful projects. Working cooperatively benefits all those involved and allows the ROW Foundation to fulfill its charitable purpose in the most effective and efficient way possible.

The ROW Foundation is committed to working with other nonprofit organizations already involved in addressing issues of epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders in under-resourced areas. If your organization fills those criteria, there’s a possibility we can work together.

The ROW Foundation does not consider unsolicited funding proposals. We will invite organizations to submit a project proposal, and if we’re interested in working together we will first establish an organizational relationship.
How can an organization establish a relationship with the ROW Foundation?
Send an initial email to our Program Developer, Lori Hairrell. Introduce yourself and your organization and let us know what you’re doing to address epilepsy in under-served areas. Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Include any internet links and materials that describe your organization.

We will acknowledge your email and add you to our database. If we have compatible purposes and objectives, we will exchange additional information to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s organizations. If it makes sense to work together on a present or future project, we will request a funding proposal.
What do we mean by “One World. One Standard?”
Recent studies show that as many as 70% of people with epilepsy can have their seizures completely controlled with medication. About 80% of epilepsy patients in the U. S. have their seizures controlled through a combination of medication, surgery and other treatments. These wonderful options aren’t available to the vast majority of people in under-resourced regions of the world. For example, the World Health Organization estimates that only 10 percent of people with epilepsy in Africa receive appropriate treatment.

The ROW Foundation believes that we're one world and there should be one standard for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and associated psychiatric disorders. Granted, the world is filled with inequity and injustices, and the treatment of epilepsy is just one of them. But it's an inequity we are working to address. We envision a future when life-giving epilepsy medications and other treatments will be available to all people, at all times, in all places: One World. One Standard.

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