Procurement of licensed medicines

Tim Root, Assistant Head, NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service, Specialist Pharmacy ServicePublished

Purchasing of medicines is a complex process with many factors to consider

Licensed medicines

Licensed Medicines are split into a number of categories and the size of the contract is determined by the characteristics, dynamics and risks associated with each category.

Tendering

NPSG have agreed that licensed medicines should only be tendered by CMU. This means that local procurement hubs should not be tendering for these categories of medicines.

Generic medicines

The following categories are managed by the CMU Generics team.

Generic Medicines used in hospital

Generic Medicines that are predominantly used in the hospital sector e.g. injectable medicines.

Length of framework

Variable up to 2 years

Scope of framework contract

One third (33%) of England, divided by buying group e.g. one third could be a combination of DSW and DLN.

Three lots are tendered for differing periods and awarded (where possible) to different suppliers so that there is a sequential opportunity to re-render the business maintain diversity and foster competition.

Generic medicines used in primary care

Generic medicines of which <10% national demand is used in the hospital sector and >90% in primary care.

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

National (100%) – whole of England

Clozapine and Sevoflurane

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

England

Patent expiring medicines

Medicines near /at patent expiry; ‘Transition products’. This excludes biosimilars.

Length of framework

Variable

Scope of framework contract

One third (33%) of England – each third including 2 CMU buying groups i.e.:

  1. DCE + DSW
  2. DNW + DLN
  3. DLS + DNE

Branded medicines

The following categories are managed by the CMU Branded team.

“Tranche” medicines

Branded medicines for which there is a competitive market including Biosimilars.

Length of framework

Variable up to 2 years

Size of framework contract

By region: NOE, MAE, London and SOFE.

Sole supplier

Branded medicines with only one supplier and minimal therapeutic competition.

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

England

Intravenous fluids

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

England

Blood products

The following categories are managed by the CMU Blood Products team.

Albumin

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

England

Icatibant and C1-esterase inhibitor

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Blood clotting factors

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Prothrombin Plasma Complex

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Immunoglobulin and Anti-D

Intravenous and Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin & Anti D

Length of framework

2 years

Scope of framework contract

England and Northern Ireland