Thanks to Health Care Without Harm, EU-based hospitals and national health systems have a new roadmap to strategic procurement.  The Association of Medical Device Reprocessors, or AMDR, hopes EU hospital leadership will spend time reviewing Health Care Without Harm’s “Strategic Procurement in European Healthcare: Selection of Best Practice and Case Studies.” Let’s take it a step further to consider the savings and waste reduction from contracting reprocessing companies to bring more value to medical device purchases.

Regulated, single-use device (SUD) remanufacturing is new to much of the EU market in light of new requirements put forth by the new European Medical Device Regulation (MDR) – set to be fully implemented this May.  AMDR looks forward to working with HCWH and European Hospitals to develop future case studies underscoring the tremendous environmental and economic benefits associated with remanufactured medical devices.  Already case studies are being published in the peer-reviewed literature underscoring the safety and cost-savings associated with remanufactured SUDs – see 2019 articles from the Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology and the Portuguese Journal of Public Health.

Now that EU hospitals have access to CE marked, remanufactured devices – devices that meet the same technical requirements as any other medical device –  EU health authorities can address any lingering inappropriate single-use devices reprocessing happening IN hospitals, and urge hospitals to instead purchase CE marked remanufactured devices as a way to safely reduce medical waste, reduce waste disposal costs and increase cost-savings associated with the medical devices they already own, which underlines and fits the circular economy effort expansion in hospitals.

In this version of the Strategic Procurement Guide, HCWH outlines hospital sustainability efforts already underway to transition towards sustainable healthcare.   Efforts in the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, for instance, are all highlighted with case studies.  Achieving Goal 2 with circular procurement, for instance, outlines the many ways the Dutch are implementing strategic procurement including via the Netherlands Standardization Institute, the exploration of “green care pathways” by medical staff and Ministry of Health, and via the Dutch Association of Purchasers.  AMDR is particularly pleased with the positive action the Dutch are taking as the Dutch Ministry has also informed the European Commission of their intent to allow remanufactured CE marked medical devices.  Our hope is to build into existing strategic procurement initiatives to further promote environmentally-preferable remanufactured devices.

Sweden has not yet taken a position on remanufactured and reprocessed devices, but the Ministry has instructed the National Board of Health and Welfare to evaluate its position.  As Health Care Without Harm has outlined, Sweden is at the forefront of sustainable procurement practices, and thus AMDR is optimistic on their attitudes toward remanufactured medical devices.  AMDR urges those seeking to make healthcare more sustainable to contact their Ministries of Health and Public Health agencies to take quick action to allow EU MDR compliant remanufactured devices.

Keep up the good work HCWH!  We hope to continue to celebrate your successes, case studies and documents such as this Procurement Guide.  And we hope to include remanufactured device case studies as we grow in Europe.