HIGPA response statement to the MDMA report on GPOs

Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2010) - Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) President Curtis Rooney today released the following statement on the new MDMA report on the group purchasing industry: 

"An MDMA-funded ‘study' suggesting that device manufacturers would voluntarily reduce their prices and their profit margins under a new GPO model is a slap in the face of the more than 90% of America's 5,000+ hospitals that use GPOs. Hospital purchasing executives are smart shoppers in an aggressive and competitive market, and they voluntarily turn to GPOs to help them find the best products for the best deal. 

"All independent, empirical, and non-industry studies of GPOs - including examinations by the GAO, FTC, DOJ, academia, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals - have found that GPOs save hospitals money. Moreover, the research and claims of Robert Litan and Hal Singer about the group purchasing industry have already been discredited as ‘fatally flawed' by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Southeast Missouri Hospital v. Bard.  Because medical device manufacturers did not like what the U.S. Government Accountability Office found in its most recent analysis of the group purchasing industry, MDMA has chosen to disregard or manipulate the GAO report for its own purposes. 

"No amount of reckless MDMA propaganda can change the fact that the $200 billion medical device industry and its largest manufacturers are the only parties that stand to benefit from changing a working, competitive GPO market. The device industry attacks GPOs because we are working for hospitals. The relationship between GPOs and manufacturers should be adversarial in this context, and the attacks tell us that we are effective in driving manufacturer prices down and providing significant cost savings to hospitals, patients and payers alike. Once again, device manufacturers are politicizing the health care debate and putting profit above patient care even in this era of cost containment." 

The full text of the most recent GAO report on the group purchasing industry can be found here. 

The full 8th Circuit decision in Southeast Missouri v. Bard can be found here.  The full district court opinion in St. Francis Medical Center v. C.R. Bard can be found here." 

For empirical evidence of GPO cost savings, see "The Value of Group Purchasing," a 2009 report by Professor Eugene Schneller, and the 2009 Goldenberg-King analysis of cost savings to the marketplace. 

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About HIGPA

The Health Industry Group Purchasing Association (HIGPA) is a broad-based trade association that represents 16 group purchasing organizations, including for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, purchasing groups, associations, multi-hospital systems and healthcare provider alliances. HIGPA's mission is to advocate on behalf of health care group purchasing associations, to provide educational opportunities designed to improve efficiencies in the purchase, sale and utilization of all goods and services within the health industry and to promote meaningful dialogue between GPOs. For more information, visit www.higpa.org.

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