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Table 2 Characteristics of the hospitals included in the survey

From: The role of discounts and loss leaders in medicine procurement in Austrian hospitals - a primary survey of official and actual medicine prices

Parameter Hospitals of the price survey Hospitals in total in Austria
Number of hospitals 5 266 (December 2008)
Type of hospitals and geographic distribution All are general hospitals; 1 in Vienna, 1 in the South East of Austria, 1 in the South, 1 in the North Western part, 1 in the biggest province of Austria 38% of all hospitals were general hospitals (2007)
Ownership All are public hospitals; 4 are owned by Austrian provinces, 1 is in the ownership of a non-profit religious congregation Around 60% of hospitals are public
Size of hospitals 4 are big hospitals (> 500 acute care beds); 36 hospitals with more than 400 acute care beds
One hospital is middle sized (between 400 and 500 acute care beds)
Hospital pharmacy 4 hospitals have a pharmacy; 17% of all hospitals have a hospital pharmacy (2008). The other, often smaller hospitals are equipped with a pharmaceutical depot
1 hospital has a “pharmaceutical depot” which is delivered by a wholesaler with an affiliated pharmacy1
Purchasing policies Negotiations are the key policy for purchasing medicines in the 5 hospitals. Same situation for all hospitals in Austria – tendering of medicines is only done in rare cases, but a rising trend can be observed
Tendering by hospitals is of minor importance in 4 hospitals;
1 hospital commissioned a wholesaler following a tendering process
Level of centralisation in purchasing Decentralised purchasing (purchasing at hospital level or at the hospital owner level) Same situation for all hospitals in Austria
Pharmaceutical expenditure in % of total hospital expenditure Around 7% of the hospital expenditure Around 9% of the hospital expenditure
  1. 1 Pharmaceutical depots are only allowed to purchase the required medicines from another licensed pharmacy in the European Economic Area (EEA).
  2. Source: Reference data on Austria in total from [15].