The AHA today urged Congress and the administration to take immediate action to rein in the rising cost of drugs. In a statement submitted to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for a hearing on the issue, AHA offered specific recommendations to increase competition, innovation and transparency, promote payment for value, improve access and align incentives. “Hospitals bear a heavy financial burden when drug costs rise unexpectedly and must make tough choices about how to allocate scarce resources,” the association said. “One hospital put the challenge starkly: In a recent year, the overall cost of the price increases for just four common drugs, which ranged from 479% and 1,261%, cost the same amount as the salaries of 55 full-time nurses. And…many hospitals report that annual price increases of 10% or 20% for widely used older generic drugs can have an even greater effect, given the large quantities that a hospital must purchase.”

Read the AHA Stat Blog for more on this topic.