Inpatient hospital drug costs increased more than 38% per admission between 2013 and 2015, according to a new report from the University of Chicago’s NORC, an independent research institution. According to the analysis of inpatient drug pricing data from 712 community hospitals and two group purchasing organizations representing more than 1,400 community hospitals, unit price increases occurred for both low- and high-volume drugs and for both branded and generic drugs. Nearly half of the drugs evaluated had no generic competition. For example, the GPOs spent roughly $2 million in 2013 for calcitonin-salmon, a drug used to treat bone pain related to osteoporosis and other diseases, and $55 million in 2015; the price per unit increased more than 3,000% during that time. According to the survey, more than 90% of hospitals reported that changes in drug prices had a moderate to severe impact on their ability to manage hospital budgets. “The women and men who work in America’s hospitals recognize the value of truly innovative, life-saving medicines as much as anyone,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “But a drug priced beyond a patient’s reach will not save anyone’s life.” The survey was commissioned by the AHA and Federation of American Hospitals. At a briefing on the report today, Ardent Health Services President and CEO David Vandewater called rising drug prices a “weight on America’s health care system.” In addition, Cleveland Clinic Chief Pharmacy Officer Scott Knoer stressed that the impact goes far beyond hospitals’ budgets. “Everyone eventually feels it, including insurance companies, employers, employees, the government and taxpayers – in other words, all of us,” he said. “Even those who are healthy and medication-free pay more when drug prices outpace inflation through increased premiums, co-pays, deductibles and taxes.” AHA also released an infographic outlining how rising drug prices are hurting hospitals and potentially limiting access to care for patients.