Healthcare Industry News:  ZLB Behring 

Biopharmaceuticals Group Purchasing

 News Release - February 24, 2006

Premier's New Plasma and Recombinant Program Helps Hospitals Acquire Products in Short Supply

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Feb. 24, 2006--The Premier Inc. healthcare alliance has initiated a new plasma and recombinant program to stabilize availability, increase purchasing flexibility and reduce costs for members in a product area where tight supplies are prevalent.

"Dealing with critically needed products like these that are in short supply is a real challenge," said Susan D. DeVore, president of Premier Purchasing Partners, L.P. "When demand temporarily decreases, hospitals often risk losing their allotments if they don't take them. Our flexible new program addresses these challenges. We provide members access to a steady supply of product at a low contracted price."

Plasma products are therapeutic proteins manufactured from human plasma (the liquid portion of blood) or recombinant processes (produced by genetic engineering). The purified proteins are used to manage serious conditions such as immune disorders; blood loss from trauma, burns and surgery as well as hemophilia and other coagulation disorders.

Plasma and recombinant products account for 11 percent of pharmacy expenditures for the 1,500 hospitals and 38,500 healthcare delivery sites that the Premier alliance serves. According to Premier Pharmacy Vice President Bryant Mangum, R.Ph., members who enroll in the new program can reduce their purchases when demand is low without compromising their ongoing allocations.

"Since the product is allocated to Premier, we have the flexibility to reassign the allocations according to members' current needs," Mangum said. "This group effort provides flexibility and helps to protect product availability to individual members."

Products covered by the program include albumin; intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG); hyperimmune globulin; various coagulation factor products including Factor VIII and Factor IX; alpha-1 proteinase inhibitor; antithrombin III; and biosurgery products.

The products are made by a limited number of manufacturers under stringent standards to assure quality and safety, so supplies are limited. The major suppliers are Baxter Healthcare Corporation, BioScience Division; Grifols Biologicals, Inc.; Talecris Biotherapeutics; and ZLB Behring. The supply of IVIG in particular is further taxed by increasing demand for the products for both labeled and off-label applications.

FFF Enterprises, Premier's authorized distributor, is helping to manage the supply and distribution of plasma and recombinant products. Premier, FFF and contracted suppliers are "committed to the success of this new program and to serving our members," Mangum said.

About Premier Inc.

A healthcare alliance entirely owned by more than 200 of the nation's leading not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare systems, Premier, Inc. helps hospitals accelerate performance on both clinical outcomes and supply chain costs. Premier serves nearly 1,500 hospitals and more than 38,500 other healthcare sites. Premier Purchasing Partners provides an array of services supporting health services delivery including group purchasing totaling more than $25 billion annually in supplies and equipment purchasing, as well as supply chain and clinical performance improvement services. Premier Healthcare Informatics offers performance measurement, benchmarking, and reporting products and advisory services supporting quality improvement. Premier Insurance Management Services helps hospitals manage insurance costs and improve risk management and claims capabilities. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Premier has offices in Charlotte, NC, Chicago, and Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Source: Premier

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