Background and importance Technology plays a crucial role in the optimisation of resources, allowing the interconnection between centres and professionals, facilitating savings strategies with great economic impact on health, such as the exchange of drugs that are not being used in one hospital to another centre that can use them, thus avoiding economic loss due to expiration.
Aim and objectives Describing the process of making exchanges of underused medicines carried out between the Pharmacy Department (PD) of the public hospitals of a region in Spain, before (pre-web phase; December 2016–October 2020) and after (web phase; November 2020–September 2021) implementing a website for that purpose.
Material and methods In November 2020, a private financing web was implemented for the exchange of medicines between PD from hospitals in a vast region of Spain. Before this, users of the different hospitals contacted each other through mailing lists where they offered the medicines (presentation, pharmaceutical form, units, batch and expiration) that were available for exchange.
Results 17 hospitals are registered on the web (2 belonging to the private health network). Of all of them, 12 hospitals are operating on the web, carrying out drug exchanges.
Total amount saved to the regional health system amounts to €430 783.28 from the start of the project; corresponding to 115 exchanges. Savings per year: December 2016 €6623.30, 2017 €20 289.55, 2018 €41 178.69, 2019 €102 485.06, 2020 €64 072.22, 2021 (to September) €196 134.46. Distribution of the total drugs exchanged, in both phases is: 30.0% chemotherapy, 19.0% antiretroviral, 11.5% drugs for pulmonary hypertension, 9.5% biological, 9.0% other, 4.5% immunosuppressants, 3.5% anti-anemic, 3.0% anti-hepatitis C, 3.0% drugs for multiple sclerosis, 3.0% antibiotics, 2.0% drugs for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and 2.0% fertility drugs.
Conclusion and relevance There are drugs with a high budgetary impact that are commonly used in a limited number of patients. Suspensions of this type of treatment can leave a hospital with immobilised stock without possibility of use. The establishment of a network of exchanges to share resources between various centres can be a saving strategy with significant economic impact, as drugs that are not useful in one centre can be used in another.
References and/or acknowledgements None
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest
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