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The logical underpinnings and benefits of pooled pharmaceutical procurement: A pragmatic role for our public institutions?


  • Huff-Rousselle, Maggie


Multi-national pharmaceutical companies have long operated across national boundaries, and exercised significant leverage because of the breadth and depth of their market control. The goals of public health can be better served by redressing the imbalance in market leverage between supply and demand. Consolidation of purchasing power across borders, as well as within countries across organizational entities, is one means to addressing this imbalance. In those existing pooled procurement models that consolidate purchasing across national boundaries, benefits have included: 1) reductions in unit purchase prices; 2) improved quality assurance; 3) reduction or elimination of procurement corruption; 4) rationalized choice through better-informed selection and standardization; 5) reduction of operating costs and administrative burden; 6) increased equity between members; 7) augmented practical utility in the role of the host institutions (regional or international) administering the system; and finally, 8) increased access to essential medical products within each participating country. Many barriers to implementation of a multi-country pooled procurement system are eliminated when the mechanism is established within a regional or international institution, especially where participating countries are viewed (and view themselves) as clients/members of the institution, so that they have some sense of ownership over the procurement mechanism. This review article is based on two literature reviews, conducted between 2007 and 2009 (including publications from 1996 through 2009), and interviews with key informants.

Suggested Citation

  • Huff-Rousselle, Maggie, 2012. "The logical underpinnings and benefits of pooled pharmaceutical procurement: A pragmatic role for our public institutions?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(9), pages 1572-1580.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:9:p:1572-1580
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.05.044

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hsiao, William C., 1995. "Abnormal economics in the health sector," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-3), pages 125-139.
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    1. repec:eee:socmed:v:200:y:2018:i:c:p:182-189 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nazaré Rego & João Claro & Jorge Pinho de Sousa, 2014. "A hybrid approach for integrated healthcare cooperative purchasing and supply chain configuration," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 303-320, December.


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