Background and importance Drug purchase is a complex process, where multiple equivalent specialties (ES) can pile up. ES drugs are those that can be used in the same indication in equivalent galenic forms. Providing good use of ES drugs within our institution and anticipating the preferences for the next calls for tender is a central issue.
Aim and objectives In order to simplify the rationalisation of ES, we aimed to build a tool that could rapidly and precisely compare the costs of two ES.
Material and methods Five essential comparing data points (ED) were identified: API, dosage, delivery unit (DU) price, daily intake and annual consumption. Coherent comparison ratios were used: intake/DU and price/intake. An intuitive Excel file was built to compare two ES according to a chosen consumption. A notice of use was written, allowing the test phase on two of our ES: trimebutine in a single use powder for solution (SUP) and a multidose syrup.
Results Typing ED increments a database. In the calculator tab, two scrolling menus allow the user to select the comparison. The calculator then visually shows the economic impact of the switch: red for increased cost and green for reduced cost. The intermediate calculations are always visible. Two hypotheses were made for the case of multidose ES depending on whether the multidose was fully used or not. A graphic shows the results in a visual way, with a number in euros and a number as a percentage of annual costs. A history is available. Tests on trimebutine were conclusive: they rapidly showed the economic interest of the single use powder for oral solution over the multidose syrup. The SUP was compared with the multidose syrup that can deliver up to 15 doses. The calculator showed a realisable reduction from 23% to 95% of the annual costs by choosing the powder. Withdrawal of the syrup will be suggested to the drug commission.
Conclusion and relevance This calculator is an efficient tool that helps the pharmacists in the management of the available references in the institution. It allows the user to rapidly and easily estimate the economic aspect of a switch, a central issue in drug selection.
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest
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