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Price Gouging Spikes Drug Costs Up to 4500%, Purchasing Group Says

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 17, 2011

Also, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) wants the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to examine the impact that consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry may be having on the nation's drug supply.

In its Tuesday report, Premier issued several recommendations with a warning to hospitals, doctors and pharmacists to avoid buying from such grey market companies.

"Understand[ing]...the possibility that supplied drugs may be counterfeit, stolen, diverted, mishandled and/or adulterated," is the first of Premier's eight recommendations to healthcare purchasers to avoid getting caught by this practice," Premier admonished in its report.

The purchasing alliance said health system purchasers should develop a policy guiding which distributors and suppliers they will do business with, and document specific reasons for any exceptions.

Premier issued the following additional recommendations:

  • Confirm receipt of drug pedigree with all appropriate information and assure that each transaction can be authenticated and tracked to the manufacturer or manufacturer's approved distributor of record.
  • Confirm the wholesaler, distributor and supplier licensure with authorities.
  • Keep records of suspect organizations.
  • Compare and scrutinize purchases and don't use drugs if there are concerns.
  • Consider reporting any suspect suppliers to appropriate authorities.

"Our suggestion is to stay out of these markets," said Alkire.

A hearing has been scheduled Sept. 21 before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

See Also:
Drug Shortages Increasing at 'Alarming Rate,' Says AHA
Senator Urges FTC to Examine Link Between Drug Shortages, Pharma Consolidation
Oncology Drug Shortage Rising
Drug Shortages Raise Costs, Put Patients at Risk

 

 


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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