fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

FAH Sponsors Drug Shortage Briefing on Capitol Hill

November 06, 2019 | FAH Policy Blog Team

Category: FAH News, Pharmaceuticals

FAH, along with eight other health care organizations, sponsored a briefing on Capitol Hill delving into the impact prescription drug shortages have on patients and on the entire health care system.

Drug shortages can cause a hefty burden for providers, adding $230 million a year to U.S. drug costs and $216 million a year in increased labor costs. The briefing focused on the urgency for Congress to act to address issues like these.

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) opened today's briefing, focusing on her legislation, the MEDS Act (S.2723). In addition to Senator Collins, expert panelists spoke to the crowd of Hill staffers, including: Brian Marden, PharmD, Chief Pharmacy Officer, MaineHealth; Edward R. Mariano, MD, MAS, Chief, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care Service and Associate Chief of Staff for Inpatient Surgical Services, VA Palo Alto Health Care System; and Daniel Teich, PharmD Vice President of Pharmacy Purchasing and Contracting, Fairview Pharmacy Services.

FAH and the American Hospital Association (AHA) released a study on the topic earlier this year that found that 80% of hospitals say it has become "extremely difficult" to obtain drugs. Additionally, the study found that the average total drug spending per hospital admission increased by 18.5% between FY2015 and FY2017. The FAH/AHA joint study can be found by clicking here.

Along with the Federation, America's Essential Hospitals, American Hospital Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Society of Clinical Oncology, ASHP, ASPEN, Children's Hospital Association and Premier sponsored the briefing.