ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Hospital Pharmacies

Retail Shops within Corporate Hospitals

Patients are being forced to buy high-priced drugs and medical devices from hospital pharmacies. With hospitals increasingly operating as for-profit businesses, these pharmacies are an important revenue source for hospitals. In essence, the in-house pharmacy is a spatial monopoly within the premises of the hospital with the patients obliged to buy from it at prices dictated by the management.

Patients are being forced to buy high-priced drugs, medical devices, etc, from hospital pharmacies (Nagarajan 2016; Shrivastav 2015). This is because patients are in a relatively weaker position compared to hospitals. There are two main reasons for this: first, for decisions regarding their health, patients are dependent on hospital-employed doctors; and second, sometimes patients are brought in a life-and-death situation to hospitals and require immediate access to drugs and medical devices. In addition, the nearest—and sometimes the only—drugstore available to patients is the in-house hospital pharmacy. Due to these factors, hospital pharmacies have a spatial monopoly on drugs and medical devices (Centad 2010).

Moreover, hospitals can not only overcharge and force patients to buy products at their pharmacies, but can also negotiate with drug and medical device manufacturers to get lower purchasing prices. This is because hospitals buy these products in bulk, which in turn gives them more bargaining power. The competition between sellers to woo these bulk buyers also works in the hospital’s favour.

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Updated On : 24th Jun, 2020
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