Advanced life-science products, including pharmaceuticals, are increasingly important in modern health care. Besides funding R&D, the big life-sciences companies spend a large part of their budget on marketing. Aiming to influence the medical professionals who use their products and prescribe these pharmaceuticals, resulting in high revenues and unusually high profit margins.
For hospitals (and health insurers) the purchasing cost of these advanced medical products is high. For our client, a hospital group, the costs of pharmaceuticals are rapidly increasing and form a burden on their financials. How to regain control of this process that is more and more orchestrated by big pharma?
The first step was to re-evaluate the amount of expensive pharmaceuticals needed. Making the actual use and costs transparent formed the basis for a fact-based discussion. We helped medical professionals from various disciplines to work together on redefining when, how much and how long specific medication should ideally be applied.
Examples of success include cases where extra physician care and off-patent alternatives proved to enhance the quality of patientcare while reducing the standard ‘high-dose’ treatment of expensive medication (that is push marketed by the pharma companies).
Finally, we helped realize the savings. Jointly we developed and conducted a negotiating strategy to minimize the costs: the doctors together with the procurement departments of the hospital group managed to get substantially lower prices. Part of the savings were ‘re-invested’ in more medical professional staff to further improve care. A win-win-win-win for patients, medical staff, the hospital, and its insurers.
We demonstrated to multiple hospitals how to break the cycle of rising costs for expensive medication – tailoring to each unique situation. We helped the procurement departments by aligning medical and non-medical professionals as an antidote for the pushy marketing efforts of the life-science companies. Acting as a link between all these professionals, more than expected high savings were realized.
In a likewise approach also cost of purchases from other life-sciences companies were reviewed and reduced including surgical & cardiological implants, disposables and lab-products and services.