The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) has released a paper that examines procurement practices across the EU in their delivery of high-quality medicines for patients.
The EFPIS represents the biopharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its membership of 36 national associations, 39 leading pharmaceutical companies, and a growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises, EFPIA’s mission is to create a collaborative environment that enables members to innovate, discover, develop and deliver new therapies and vaccines for people across Europe, as well as contribute to the European economy.
The White Paper recommendations were developed to ensure that procurement practices are effective and sustainable. They call for the European Commission to promote best practice guidance on the basis of Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The article ensures the quality of procurement procedures in the pharmaceutical sector, including joint procurement, and delivery of high-quality medicines for patients, in the right quantities and at the right time.
There were seven key findings identified in the paper upon which the recommendations are based:
- Lack of clinical staff involvement leads to inadequate design of tender procedures and negative spillover effects.
- Duplication and lack of adherence to contract duration increases costs and impacts supply.
- Imbalanced/divergent award criteria increases tender complexity and costs.
- Increased recourse to ‘price only’ awards threatens supply sustainability. This is further compounded when combined with ‘winner takes all’ awards.
- The inability to safeguard price data in the exchange of confidential company information reduces competition.
- Political pressure to deliver a particular result, reduced time for proper planning, or the use of shortest possible deadlines for submitting tenders and for contract execution, cause legal uncertainties and result in reduced competition.
- Complex cross-border joint procurement procedures compound the challenges identified.
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