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Drug Prices Still a Major Area of Concern for Healthcare Leaders

Rising drug costs and pharmaceutical management remain a top concern for health system leaders, according to a new survey.

Premier, Inc.’s spring Economic Outlook Survey polled 91 people representing a variety of roles in U.S. health systems, including physicians, C-suite members, financial, supply chain and management professionals.

Almost every respondent agreed that pharmaceutical price increases post a significant challenge to their operations. In addition, more than 90% said they would likely experience continued drug shortages over the next three years.

Drug prices and shortages have consistently ranked among the biggest issues facing health systems over the past two years of surveys, according to a Premier press release. A major factor impacting rising drug prices is limited competition of generic drugs.

“In our view, one of the best ways to ensure fair pricing is by driving increased competition and greater use of generics and biosimilars,” Michael J. Alkire, Premier’s chief operating office, said in the announcement. “At the same time, we also need to provide prescribers with apples-to-apples mechanisms they can use to compare products in a therapeutic category, evidence-based facts around which products deliver optimal quality at the best value and aligned financial incentives.”

Premier also noted the rising price increases of generic drugs is also contributing to the problem. Medications for treatment options like precision medicine are also putting financial strain on health systems, according to the survey. More than 90% of respondents said they felt it will become necessary for providers to operate their own pharmacies.

A possible solution for providers to better manage both pricing and administration of these therapies is through provider-led speciality pharmacies, and the majority of survey respondents agree-close to 70% of respondents said they felt it will become necessary for providers to operate their own pharmacies.

You can read the full report here.