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February 2019

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Latrobe Regional Hospital director of pharmacy Kenneth Ch’ng, chemo day nurse unit manager Meagan Hecker, patient Chris Lawless, HPV customer relationship manager Emma Hammond and oncology nurse Billie Jo Malady.

Chemo contract collaboration a first

In a Victorian first, three regional health services have adopted a cluster sourcing approach for the purchase of chemotherapy preparations used to treat cancer patients.

The project is led by pharmacists in collaboration with Health Purchasing Victoria.

HPV’s cluster sourcing framework enables health services to pool resources, reduce duplication of effort and achieve better value and service delivery.

Latrobe Regional Hospital, Central Gippsland Health Service and Bairnsdale Health Service approached HPV to discuss their requirements for compounded chemotherapy and monoclonal antibody (MAB) preparations.

By adopting HPV’s cluster sourcing framework they were able to access expert procurement guidance and avoid duplication of effort.

Health services across the state obtain chemotherapy preparations in different ways.

Some have the capability to make their own compounded chemotherapy and MAB preparations while smaller health services tend to buy them from third party providers.

Due to their highly-configurable and localised service requirements, compounding services are not currently part of the state-wide pharmaceuticals contract and a new way of collaborating at regional level made sense.

‘The leadership and collaboration between pharmacists and procurement specialists has enabled the delivery of both financial and non-financial benefits to health services and patients in regional areas,’ said HPV seconded pharmacist Winnie Lin.

‘In addition to cost savings, the new contract adds significant value for health services through the inclusion of on-site staff training, improvements to the supply chain and greater access to emergency deliveries,’ said Latrobe Regional Hospital director of pharmacy Kenneth Ch’ng.

Fifty-two medicines with a total annual contract value of $2.46 million were sourced through the approach.

Health services achieved a 17 per cent cost reduction and savings will be used to deliver better patient care.

‘Health services are unlikely to achieve the same level of benefit without the cluster sourcing approach,’ said HPV director procurement and value delivery Joe Neill.

HPV will leverage the success of this approach and expand the cluster sourcing approach to other regional hospitals.

Ms Lin presented a study on HPV’s sourcing approach at the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) conference in Sydney.