Working with Norway and Iceland, Denmark recently issued the first joint Nordic tendering procedures, in which the environment was one of three key criteria. Now, on behalf of Danish Regions, Amgros has issued the first Danish national tendering procedures, in which the environment is an important criterion alongside price and quality.
"Amgros’ is tasked with ensuring the supply of medicines to public hospitals in Denmark. However, the times when supply was only a matter of quality, price and delivery have passed. Amgros is committed to making its mark on the sustainability agenda – at both national and international levels. We must help source sustainable and environmentally friendly products," said CEO Flemming Sonne, Amgros.
The environmental criteria we have chosen are environmental management, packaging (plastics and paper/cardboard), transportation and social responsibility. These choices were not made at random. We worked closely with DTU (Technical University of Denmark) and engaged in dialogue with pharmaceutical suppliers.
“Because we were moving into an area in which we didn’t have much experience, we decided to seek external guidance and expertise already last autumn. It was important to us that the criteria make sense in terms of benefitting the environment, but also that they make sense to us and to the suppliers who will ultimately submit bids.”
Scientists from DTU prepared an analysis with recommendations on possible sustainability and environmental criteria throughout the life cycle of a medicine.
We then continued to work with the DTU report within our own ranks. We adjusted the criteria so that they comply with procurement legislation and so that they can be incorporated meaningfully into the subsequent evaluation phase.
The pharmaceutical suppliers have consistently expressed their desire to become involved in the process of introducing environmental criteria. We therefore held meetings with sector organisations and, this spring, we invited sector organisations and suppliers to take part in a written market dialogue and to provide us with their feedback on the proposed criteria.
“It was positive to see so many suppliers willing to contribute to qualifying our work with the environmental criteria. And it was even more positive to see that so many pharmaceutical suppliers are already working to minimise their resource consumption and their carbon footprint. Many of them have set ambitious climate goals. This makes us hopeful and confident that we can make a big difference together.”
We also learned from our dialogue with the suppliers that we should think beyond national borders when we determine requirements and tendering criteria in the sustainability and environment area. And this is something we will do. We will continue to develop our national criteria for sustainability and the environment, and we will continue to work with experience sharing in Nordisk Lægemiddelforum (Nordic Pharmaceuticals Forum).
“Purchasing and tendering procedures for medicines is a complex field. At present, we are satisfied that we have successfully introduced the environment as a criterion in our tendering procedures. However, the more experience we gain and the more the environmental performance of tenderers improves, the more environmental criteria we will be able to use and include in our tendering procedures,” said Flemming Sonne.
In addition to introducing environmental criteria in national pharmaceutical tendering procedures, we are also raising our expectations of successful bidders in our framework agreements.
In future, Amgros will require manufacturers and their supply chain to contribute to sustainable development, including by respecting human and labour rights, minimising their impact on the environment and climate, and working actively against corruption in their business, as this is described in a series of international UN and OECD conventions and accords.
National tenders include ATC groups G and H that include sex hormones and systemic hormonal preparations.
Read more here: Sustainability to be a criterion for medicines tenders - Amgros.
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