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Browsing by Subject "drug purchasing policy"

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  • Havo, Marja (2013)
    Hospital pharmacies and drug centers are responsible for pharmaceutical services for inpatient care in the public health care in Finland. Each of the 20 hospital districts have a central hospital pharmacy. Every hospital district is a member of one of the five regional hospital groups (called erva-alue). In each regional hospital group the area's university hospital is responsible for the specialized hospital care. Most of the regional hospital groups cooperate in drug purchasing. The drug purchasing policies need to be in line with the legislation regulating public sector's purchasing policies. Usually procurement and organizing a tender competition are coordinated by university hospitals. With centralization hospital pharmacies can get cost-benefits. This study deals with drug purchasing policies in hospitals and regional hospital group cooperation in Finland. The objective was to explore drug purchasing process in hospital pharmacies and related cooperation in regional groups. The study was carried out as a postal survey which was sent to the head pharmacists of all 20 hospital districts in spring 2012. The survey instrument was reviewed by selected experts and revised according to their comments before it was sent to the respondents. Most of the questions were open-ended enabling the respondents to reflect their opinions. The response rate was 90% (n=18). All respondents answered to the most of the questions. There were seven procurement groups. Most of the regional cooperation groups procured drugs together. Only Helsinki University Hospital's (HYKS) regional cooperation group did not procure and organize a tender competition together. Purchasing period was generally two years. Usually procurement was centralized to the university hospitals in the regional groups. The hospital pharmacies that had two years purchasing periods reasoned the duration of the period most commonly by cost savings. The pharmacies that had a three-year or longer period explained its length by drug safety. The areas also differed in the way they involved specialists in selecting pharmaceutical products and making final decisions. The expertise of the specialists involved varied widely. Some areas involved a very broad range of experts, while some others had few. The drugs were selected independently by or within groups. Procurement criteria varied a lot, but the main criterion in all the responses was price or total cost-effectiveness. The respondents reported that drug safety was considered in the procurement but its inclusion as a purchasing criterion was challenging. Few of the respondents reported having studied cost savings of using purchasing groups. However, cost savings were believed to be significant. Particularly, the respondents reported that workloads had decreased because of the cooperation in procurement. Some changes were reported to happen in the drug procurement processes of some purchasing groups. All these ideas concerning drug purchasing policies and cooperation are described in the research report. For example, some head pharmacists indicated their willingness to have national cooperation in establishing drug guidelines. Most of them were satisfied with the current cooperation and purchasing policies and were ready to continue and develop the cooperation. The study achieved its goal in exploring drug purchasing policies and cooperation between hospitals in Finland. The study can perform as a baseline evaluation for further studies in the field. It also provides useful information to those people working on drug procurement and purchasing policies.