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from Pharmacy Practice News – October 22, 2019

by Thomas E. Henry III, MBA, RPh, CPh, Clinical Pharmacy Advisor, Lumere

Hospital pharmacy leaders have been traditionally viewed as partners with medical staff in the stewardship of health systems’ drug budget management. Historically, we have successfully employed tactics such as closed formularies, generic and therapeutic substitution, automatic stop orders, IV to oral conversion, and participation in group purchasing organizations (GPOs), or used individual contracts to better manage the growth in drug spending.

Despite these efforts, the average drug spend across US hospital systems increased 18.5% between fiscal year 2015 and 2017. This pattern continues today, prompting pharmacy leaders to look for new ways to control costs. Organizations are exploring multiple tactics to move beyond the “low-hanging” items, including:

  • implementing clinical pathways, which are designed to reduce variability in care and possibly to steer drug selection using some cost–benefit measure (when options include choices of equal efficacy but differing cost);
  • designing indication-based clinical initiatives rather than drug class–driven therapeutic substitution; and
  • adopting biosimilar agents as replacements for originator biologic drugs.

Read the full article at Pharmacy Practice News. (Free registration required.)

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