In the third quarter of 2016, PP&P polled a random, nationwide sampling of health system pharmacy directors on the factors impacting their generic purchasing decisions. We asked about pricing issues, the process for selecting generic manufacturers, failure-to-supply programs, budget expenditures, and future spending projections. A total of 386 responses were received, yielding a confidence interval of 4.82 (95% +/-4.82).
The survey results underscore pharmacy’s ongoing concerns with ensuring a reliable supply of generics and being able to acquire those products in bar coded, unit dose format. Notably, cost issues are taking center stage and a growing number of facilities are forced to make price their primary purchasing factor. Given the continuing consolidation among generics manufacturers, pharmacy directors express consternation at the increased risk for supply disruptions and opportunistic price increases. Drug budget spending is expected to grow significantly in the foreseeable future in response to projected price increases.
The decreasing number of recalls and shortages requires fewer redirections of key resources. Nevertheless, half of all hospital pharmacies have a dedicated staff member assigned to shortage management given the ubiquity of these events. Similarly, gray market purchasing is becoming increasingly rare as more facilities ban this practice outright.
There is a growing interest in biosimilars, and most facilities plan to review both evidence-based clinical data and price as they evaluate these products for formulary inclusion. Pharmacy is expected to be a key decision-maker in these efforts, as products are rarely added to an organization’s formulary without the support of the pharmacy department.
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