|Operational principles for good pharmaceutical procurement (UNICEF - UNFPA - WB - WHO/EDM, 1999, 32 p.)|
This document introduces four strategic objectives and twelve operational principles for good pharmaceutical procurement. These objectives and principles have been developed and endorsed by the Interagency Pharmaceutical Coordination Group (IPC), involving the pharmaceutical advisers of the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.
The aim of this document is to improve pharmaceutical procurement practices in countries served by the IPC members. These operational principles for good pharmaceutical procurement are not meant to regulate activities of international agencies, sovereign governments or private companies. They are presented strictly as a set of principles which can be reviewed and adapted by individual governments and public or private organizations in the process of developing their own internal procurement procedures.
These objectives and principles are published by WHOs Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy (EDM) on behalf of the IPC, after an extensive review by experts from international agencies, governments, the pharmaceutical industry, essential drugs supply agencies and universities.
Pharmaceutical procurement occurs in many contexts. Although the operational principles presented here are in many respects applicable to all procurement settings and for most types of procurement situations, their primary target is pharmaceutical procurement for public sector health systems. It is recognized that public sector procurement may be managed in a variety of ways, ranging from total in-house systems, through various autonomous or semi-autonomous procurement agencies, to total privatization. These principles are applicable to each of those variations.
The document is composed of four chapters. Chapter 1 consists of a brief problem statement which illustrates the need for improvements in procurement practices. Chapter 2 presents the four strategic objectives of pharmaceutical procurement which apply to any health system, whether it is public or private. Chapter 3 presents twelve operational principles for good pharmaceutical procurement, grouped into four categories (management; selection and quantification; financing and competition; supplier selection and quality assurance). Chapter 4 gives more information on the practical implementation of the twelve principles and some useful information on mechanisms to further improve the performance of the procurement system. A section of references and further reading is also included.
Coordination and collaboration among technical development agencies continues to be a major issue. It is the hope of the IPC that these operational principles will foster cooperation and standard approaches among national governments and donors actively attempting to improve public health and drug management around the world.
Comments on this document are actively solicited and can be submitted to:
The Director, Department of Essential Drugs and Medicines Policy, World Health Organization, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland; fax: +41 22 791 4167; e-mail: <email@example.com>.