Background Centralised drug purchasing in a Regional Health Service enhances efficiency in drugs’ procurement and ensures that all hospitals in charge of the health service get the same prices no matter the hospital’s size or complexity level.
Purpose To evaluate the estimated savings in pharmaceutical expenditure in a Regional Health Service after the creation of a multidisciplinary working team in 2016, in charge of processing public tendering procedures for centralised procurement of hospital drugs.
Material and methods Prospective study of estimated savings obtained by centralised purchasing of high economic impact hospital drugs. In 2016 a working team with hospital pharmacists, central health service pharmacists and an economist was created with the objective of assisting public tendering procedures for centralised purchasing of hospital drugs, as well as shortening processing times.
The following data were collected to calculate the estimated savings: drug units purchased by hospitals of the Regional Health Service in the reference year (2015/2016), average price of the drugs in the reference year (2015/2016), tender price and auction clearing price of the procurement procedure.
Results Since 2016, the working team has met six times, selecting the most relevant and appropriate drugs to be included in centralised procedures.
Four centralised purchasing procedures have been carried out, with the next estimated savings for 2 years, regarding the reference year: infliximab (€21,417,712; 42.8% savings compared to year of reference); atosiban (€472,726; 48.0%); bosentan (€4,247,198; 85.6%); and capecitabine (€519,339; 510%).
Four centralised purchasing procedures are waiting adjudication, with the next estimated savings for 2 years, regarding the reference year: botulinum toxin (€491,056; 7.4%); 19 miscellaneous drugs of high economic impact – antineoplastic agents, antivirals, analgesics, proton pump inhibitors, antiemetics,etc. (€6,094,371; 29.8%); antiinfectious drugs (€19,695,059; 54.3%); and diet therapy products (€2,239,318; 30.5%).
A total of €55,176,789 savings has been estimated for 2 years in the hospital pharmaceutical expenditure of the Regional Health Service.
Conclusion According to our results, we consider that centralised drug purchasing is an effective rationalisation measure in hospital pharmaceutical expenditure. It reduces the administrative burden of processing individual procurement procedures by hospitals and it assures the same prices in different hospitals of the same health service.
References and/or Acknowledgements Hospital Pharmacy Purchasing Working Team.
No conflict of interest
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