/ Associated Press, February 28, 2014

U.S. hospitals are coping better with ongoing shortages of hundreds of medications, but a new survey indicates that obtaining drugs from alternate sources is costing them a lot of money they can't spare. Premier Inc., the hospital group that did the survey, conservatively estimates that cost at $230 million a year for the country's 5,000 hospitals, on average, from 2011 through 2013. ''The total impact is likely much higher,'' said Mike Alkire, chief operating officer of Premier, an alliance of 2,900 hospitals and nearly 100,000 other health care providers that helps them improve performance and arranges discounted contracts with manufacturers for nearly all the generic drugs they buy.
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