Strategic procurement and international collaboration to improve access to medicines

Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume 95, Number 10, October 2017, 665-728
http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/95/10/en/

PERSPECTIVES
Strategic procurement and international collaboration to improve access to medicines
Alessandra Ferrario, Tifenn Humbert, Panos Kanavos & Hanne Bak Pedersen
http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.16.187344
Efficient procurement of medicines is more than just obtaining the lowest price. It is about creating a healthy market where products of good quality are available at affordable prices on a sustainable basis and at the right time.1 In this context, a strategic approach to procurement is vital. Such an approach should encompas all activities that might improve the efficiency of procurement – e.g. activities to minimize low-value repetitive purchases, increase the benefit of economies of scale and reduce transaction and transport costs.2 Here, we will provide examples of the experiences of countries in the World Health Organization’s European Region in improving the efficiency of procurement of medicines. We will also explain how international collaboration could help improve individual country’s efforts.