A recent GAO report looked at group purchasing organizations and established that they were pervasive, and that they’d adopted some internal ethics rules. It did not, however, substantially evaluate charges that GPOs can increase cost and stifle innovation.
However, a medical device trade group picked up where the GAO left off. According to a study published last week by the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (53-page PDF), repealing the special GPO exemption to a general ban on kickbacks in situations where federal health spending is involved would result in as much as $25 billion in annual savings. The study’s a quick, forceful and engaging read, but it comes, of course, from an organization that clearly has a dog in the fight.