Health has offered this morning to the communities the possibility of buy together all medicines and products consumed by the councils. This is intended to help save, since currently each region (and, sometimes, each hospital) negotiate prices with manufacturers. For example, since the beginning of these procedures, there have been 15 joint tenders, like those of the flu vaccine in recent years, and Minister María Luisa Carcedo has said that the savings reached has been 237 million euros since 2013 for purchases of 2,700 million.
The tremendous potential expansion of the possibilities is based on the development of a common digital catalog of medicines and health products that makes it much easier to share the characteristics of what you want to buy. In that list are 25,000 references, which are all the products that hospitals buy from medicines to bandages, explains Alfonso Jiménez, general director of Pharmacy,
The idea of recovering the advantages of the economy of scale arose almost immediately after the sanitary transfers were completed in 2002, but it was not until 2010 when the centralized purchasing system was launched. Participation is voluntary, and Andalusia, Catalonia, the Basque Country and the Canary Islands have never participated with the argument that they already obtained competitive prices on their own and as a matter of competence.
The purchase of medicines and sanitary technology from public health supposes more than about 14,000 million a year distributed between medicines for hospital use and the rest, according to the data of Health and the employer of the health products Fenin. If the savings rate were maintained and applied to all purchases (something unfeasible at the moment since the procedure is laborious because you have to approve an order for each purchase) would reach 1.2 billion.
Jiménez explains that, at the moment, prescription drugs are not included, nor are health services, which are much more difficult to code. These drugs cost the Administrations some 11,000 million a year, but they are already subject to many savings measures, such as co-payments and generics.