Group purchasing of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies by the Gulf Cooperation Council states

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An important issue in health care today is the cost of essential pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. To control the increase of health care expenses, in 1976 the Gulf Cooperation Council states began to study the idea of establishing a group purchasing programme for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. This paper demonstrates the elements of the programme, how it works, what obstacles it faces and how other countries can profit from this experience. It also discusses the future of the group purchasing programme in the light of globalization and how the international changes under the World Trade Organization agreements will affect the programme in future.