Skyrocketing Prescription Drug Prices Troublesome Throughout Healthcare System

Much has been written about the cost of prescription drugs in business journals, in healthcare blogs, in government publications and issue briefs from the American Academy of Actuaries. So many are watching because skyrocketing drug prices are not sustainable and are a serious economic threat to the communities we serve. Left unchecked, they threaten patient access to drug therapies and challenge providers’ abilities to provide the highest quality of care.

Hospitals bear a heavy financial burden when the cost of drugs increases. They are not only major purchasers of drugs, but patients often end up in the hospital when they cannot afford to take their medications as prescribed. Other factors, such as drug shortages also impact the system. See the infographic for more.

A new report updates and expands on a previous one from 2016 on the inpatient hospital drug cost increases by also analyzing outpatient drug costs and the impact of drug shortages. The report found that hospital budget pressures resulting from the continued dramatic increases in drug prices have negative impacts on patient care, with hospitals being forced to delay infrastructure investments, reduce staffing, and identify alternative therapies. Hospitals also struggle with drug shortages, which can disrupt typical work patterns and patient care, and often require significant staff time to address.

https://www.aha.org/system/files/2019-01/drug-shortage-and-cost-Infographic_0.pdf

To that end, the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing -– a diverse coalition of doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, employers, health plans, seniors, patients, consumers and others coming together to find common ground and solutions at a national level. What action or policies do you think would foster transparency, competition and value while fostering innovation in healthcare? Share your ideas below and be part of the discussion as we move forward in making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation.

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