Drug shortages remain widespread and hospitals spent nearly $700 million over three years to cover the additional costs of finding more expensive generic substitutes, according to a survey and analysis from the group purchasing organization, Premier.
"It's clear that this remains to be a very serious problem that continues to impact patient care and it creates major challenges for our healthcare system and other providers," Premier COO Mike Alkire said on a conference call with media last week.
The Premier survey of 124 "pharmacy experts" conducted in December 2013 and January 2014 found that 90% of respondents experience some sort of drug shortage within the last six months. Alkire says those results are similar to those found in a Premier survey conducted in 2010 at the height of the drug shortage crisis.
"Although recent reports show that new drug shortages have decreased, longer-standing, ongoing drug shortages remain an issue," he said.