Investigating the procurement system for understanding seasonal influenza vaccine brand availability in Europe.

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Date: Apr. 8, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 4)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 4,677 words
Lexile Measure: 1550L

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Abstract :

Background Timely knowledge of which influenza vaccine brands are procured and where is of interest to inform site-selection for brand-specific influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) studies. Vaccine procurement is a key determinant of brand availability. We therefore sought to understand how the procurement for seasonal influenza vaccine in Europe is organized, how this drives brand availability and how procurement data could enable to determine brand availability pre-season. Methods Structured telephone interviews were conducted with 15 experts in 16 European countries between 2017 and 2019 to collect information on the influenza vaccine procurement systems. Sources of (brand-specific) procurement data were identified and assessed on public accessibility. Vaccine type and brand availability and timelines were determined for the 2019-20 season to understand how procurement systems drive brand availability and diversity. Results Four main types of procurement systems for seasonal influenza vaccination campaigns were identified: national public tenders (Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia), regional public tenders (Italy, Spain, Sweden), direct purchase of vaccines by GPs (England, Wales) or pharmacies (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece) from manufacturers or wholesalers. National public tender outcomes are publicly available and timely; brand availability at clinic level can generally be deduced or narrowed down to two brands. Regional tender outcomes are more difficult to find, known very late or not available. In Italian and Spanish regions tenders may be awarded only a few weeks before the seasonal campaign. No public procurement information is available for countries with direct purchase. Conclusion At the country-level, brand diversity is generally lower for countries with national public tenders than for countries with regional public tenders or direct purchase. In only a few countries, procurement data at the brand level is both publicly available and timely. Therefore the usefulness of procurement data for prospective site-selection for brand-specific VE studies is limited.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A657819800