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Cost of drugs manufactured by the University Hospital - role of the Central Pharmacy

Author(s): Marin Marcia Lucia M. | Chaves Cleuber E. | Zanini Antonio C. | Faintuch Joel | Faintuch Daniel | Cipriano Sonia L.

Journal: Revista do Hospital das ClĂ­nicas
ISSN 0041-8781

Volume: 56;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 41;
Date: 2001;
Original page

Keywords: Cost | Cost-containment | Hospital pharmacy | Drug manipulation | Drug industrialization | University hospital

The hospital pharmacy in large and advanced institutions has evolved from a simple storage and distribution unit into a highly specialized manipulation and dispensation center, responsible for the handling of hundreds of clinical requests, many of them unique and not obtainable from commercial companies. It was therefore quite natural that in many environments, a manufacturing service was gradually established, to cater to both conventional and extraordinary demands of the medical staff. That was the case of Hospital das Clinicas, where multiple categories of drugs are routinely produced inside the pharmacy. However, cost-containment imperatives dictate that such activities be reassessed in the light of their efficiency and essentiality. METHODS: In a prospective study, the output of the Manufacturing Service of the Central Pharmacy during a 12-month period was documented and classified into three types. Group I comprised drugs similar to commercially distributed products, Group II included exclusive formulations for routine consumption, and Group III dealt with special demands related to clinical investigations. RESULTS: Findings for the three categories indicated that these groups represented 34.4%, 45.3%, and 20.3% of total manufacture orders, respectively. Costs of production were assessed and compared with market prices for Group 1 preparations, indicating savings of 63.5%. When applied to the other groups, for which direct equivalent in market value did not exist, these results would suggest total yearly savings of over 5 100 000 US dollars. Even considering that these calculations leave out many components of cost, notably those concerning marketing and distribution, it might still be concluded that at least part of the savings achieved were real. CONCLUSIONS: The observed savings, allied with the convenience and reliability with which the Central Pharmacy performed its obligations, support the contention that internal manufacture of pharmaceutical formulations was a cost-effective alternative in the described setting.
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