Advertisement
Top 10 Drug Markups in the Gray Market

Top 10 Drug Markups in the Gray Market

On average, drugs in short supply are being marked up by 650% on the gray market, according to an analysis released last week by the Premier Healthcare Alliance. Drugs in short supply have led to a crisis among healthcare providers, causing them to expend critical resources to obtain needed drugs – or replacements. Gray markets have grossly taken advantage of the recent crisis by selling the critical items at any price the market will bear. The “gray market” is a distribution channel – while legal – that is unofficial, unauthorized, or unintended by the original manufacturer of a product. For over a year, the healthcare system has experienced an increase in the shortage of drugs vital to treatment. At the end of 2010, more than 240 drugs were in short supply or completely unavailable and more than 400 generic varieties were back-ordered for 5 or more days. The majority of drugs in short supply are used for sedation, emergency care, and chemotherapy. While the average markup was 650%, even higher prices have been seen in certain critical care areas. The highest markups seen in the 10 manufacturer back-ordered drugs are: Labetalol (cardiology) – 4,533% Cytarabine (oncology) – 3,980% Dexamethasone 4mg inj. (oncology and rheumatology) – 3,857% Leucovorin (oncology) – 3,170% Propofol (critical care sedation and surgery) – 3,161% Papavarine (critical care) – 2,979% Protamine (critical care) – 2,752% Levophed(critical care) – 2,642% Sodium Chloride Concentrate (critical care) – 2,350% Furosemide Inj. (critical care) – 1,721% Download gray market analysis Physician’s Weekly wants to know… In the past 2 years, have you noticed significantly higher shortages in drugs you need/use?...
Hospitals Report Pervasive Drug Shortages

Hospitals Report Pervasive Drug Shortages

More than 99% of hospitals polled in June 2011 by the American Hospital Association (AHA) reported that they had experienced a drug shortage within the previous 6 months, and nearly 45% indicated they had experienced at least 21 shortages during that time. In the survey of 820 respondents, 80% said they had experienced shortages in surgery/anesthesia, emergency care, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal/nutrition, pain, or infectious disease medications. More than 66% of hospitals reported cancer drug shortages. What’s more, almost 50% reported a shortage of at least one agent daily. Because of these shortages, 80% of hospitals reported delaying patient treatment, and 70% reported treating patients with inferior drugs, although such instances occurred “rarely,” according to the respondents. “The number of drugs in short supply is increasing at an alarming rate, and hospitals are working diligently to reduce the impact to the patients they care for,” said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. “Clinicians need more notice about drug shortages so they have time to act to ensure that patient care is not disrupted.” A lack of advance notice about drug shortages may explain why 85% of respondents reported having purchased excess inventory of some drugs. Rationing or restrictions on certain drugs are other ways hospitals try cope with shortages, with most respondents reporting that they have taken those measures — causing drug costs to rise. According to a separate survey released by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, managing these shortages results in estimated U.S. labor costs of $216 million. More than 90% of directors of pharmacy who responded to the survey said drug shortages were associated with increased burden...
[ HIDE/SHOW ]