In the future, the supply of medicines to public Danish hospitals will be about more than quality, price and reliable deliveries. Supply will also be very much about being able to deliver sustainable and environmentally friendly products.
Therefore, Amgros has been working for some time on organising its business to be much more sustainable.
“As our core business is to ensure supplies for medicines to Danish public hospitals, we’ve focused our sustainability initiatives on the national tendering procedures Amgros is responsible for. This means that, in future, sustainability could be a criterion in our tendering procedures for medicines. The challenge is to find a balance, so that we both consider the environment, and we secure supplies of medicines for patients in Denmark. Therefore, it’s crucial that we include our collaboration partners in this work,” said Flemming Sonne, CEO of Amgros.
We have now reached a point where we have analysed and selected the therapeutic area we want to use for the pilot project. Therefore, we have invited the sector associations Lif (Danish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry), IGL (Danish Generic and Biosimilars Medicines Industry Association) and FPF (association for parallel importers of medicines) to a meeting to discuss the opportunities and restrictions as they see them. After this, we will finalise definition of the tender criteria to be included in the pilot project.
“It’s important to talk to our suppliers and hear their views, before we introduce the new requirements and criteria. However, having decided to make a clear impact and make a difference for the environment, it’s important that we at Amgros also reach our goal. The process is now to find criteria that are actually possible to monitor and follow up on.“
In parallel with preparations for the first national tendering procedure for medicines with sustainability included in the tender, Amgros and its cooperation partners in the Nordisk Lægemiddel Forum are preparing the next joint Nordic tendering procedure. The environment and sustainability will also be included as new criteria here.
“The first agreements entered into force earlier this year. With the different guidelines and rules in the various countries, that Norway, Iceland and Denmark were able to draw up a joint tendering procedure was something of an achievement in itself. Now that we have the first experience, we will be incorporating environment and sustainability requirements in the next joint procedure. This will align very well with planning and developing the first national tendering procedure with sustainability requirements.”
The pilot project for the first national tendering procedure including sustainability as a criterion is planned for announcement in early 2021. During 2021, Amgros, Norway and Iceland will announce the second common Nordic tendering procedure, this time with sustainability as a criterion.
“I’m extremely pleased that we’ve come so far at Amgros that we now have a clear timetable for when we will announce the first tendering procedure for medicines with sustainability as a criterion. As a central player in the healthcare system, and with responsibility for medicines and hearing aids for public hospitals and hearing clinics, we also have a responsibility to ensure that procurement is sustainable and eco-friendly,” said Flemming Sonne.
Agreements between Amgros and suppliers state clearly that we expect the supplier to organise activities “to safeguard nature and the environment, thus ensuring social development on a sustainable basis in respect of human conditions of life and for the conservation of flora and fauna”. Suppliers are also obligated to act “ethically and with social responsibility”.
The national pilot project will now make sustainability an actual criterion in our tendering procedures for medicines. The pilot project will tighten sustainability requirements, and it will monitor and follow up on ensuring that our suppliers actually meet the criterion to be more sustainable.
In order to prepare for the first tendering procedures for medicines with sustainability is a criterion, Amgros has closely monitored experience from Norway, among others, which made this statutory in 2017.
The Nordic Pharmaceuticals Forum was established after an initiative from Amgros back in 2015, and in 2019 it set up a working group to make proposals for how the Nordic countries can develop procurement to incorporate more environment requirements.