The Department of Health and NHS Supply Chain are in talks about developing a new procurement system being likened to Amazon.com.
HSJ understands an organisation such as NHS Supply Chain would be required to run the website, hold stocks and deliver the goods.
The DH has confirmed to HSJ it was “currently considering the use of dynamic purchasing systems, and initial discussions have begun with NHS Supply Chain”.
The confirmation followed DH commercial director Peter Coates’ appearance at the public accounts committee two weeks ago, when he said a new IT system was needed to stop suppliers setting artificially high prices for the goods they sell through NHS Supply Chain.
Mr Coates told the committee: “We need to look at a better IT solution that allows trusts access to real-time pricing.
“This is the Amazon.com model we’re talking about, and is gaining more acceptance across the system.”
It would require changes to EU procurement rules and the DH is talking to the Office of Government Commerce about changes it hopes will be implemented in 2012.