Global Exchange was set up last winter by five of the largest med-surg companies to make sure they had a role in shaping the future of e-commerce and hospitals. For several months it was reticent but now its new general manager is explaining its mission to provide a single centralized portal for e-procurement to hospitals and integrated delivery systems that results in greater efficiency and savings for hospitals. A major reason for its formation was the concern that established, private-investor-led dot.coms, such as Medibuy and Neoforma.com, were trying to squeeze manufacturers. But the Global Exchange raised concerns among the very manufacturers it was set up to protect--for example, how it would handle competitors and whether each member get the same terms as the others. The exchange has five founding partners, but it is open to all, and all suppliers pay a subscription fee, based on the volume of business they do through the exchange. So far, 40 hospitals have signed up to use the system, which will go on line this fall and the system offers more than 60% of all med-surg supplies on the market. While dot.coms have taken a beating in the stock market in recent months, the Global Health Exchange says it isn't beholden to Wall Street because it has no plans to go public. It is in this business for the long-term, despite the ups and downs of competitors.