Supply chain tip of the week: How to manage excessive drug price hikes

"Hospitals and health systems are experiencing an unprecedented escalation in the cost of older, commonplace drugs with new price increases," says Tom Fox, a managing director at healthcare consulting firm Novia Strategies.

In these instances, drug manufacturers are not recouping the research and development cost of bringing a drug to market, but rather capitalizing on drugs that have entrenched use with little or no competition, according to Mr. Fox.

He shared the following tip with Becker's Hospital Review:

"It is important to not accept these price-gouging practices without first exploring every effort to limit the use of these agents only to cases with no viable alternatives and to compound, dispense and administer in dosage forms developed to minimize waste. The pharmacy department should review the actual dose utilized per case and determine if there is an opportunity to dispense in an amount that will minimize waste. This can be accomplished through compounding within internal pharmacy departments or through partnerships with custom IV-compounding companies or 503B manufacturers.

Limiting the utilization of these old drugs with the new costly price tags will require the assistance and cooperation of the affected clinical departments.  Often times the clinicians ordering these agents have no idea these commonplace drugs are now today’s pharmacy budget busters, so educating them on this new reality will likely align them with the goal to seek alternatives when appropriate."

If you would like to share a tip, please email Mackenzie Bean at mbean@beckershealthcare.com.

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