Pictured: AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack (left) and FAH President and CEO Chip Kahn briefed reporters this afternoon on findings from a new report on drug prices.

Continued rising drug prices, as well as shortages for many critical medications, are disrupting patient care and forcing hospitals to delay infrastructure and staffing investments and identify alternative therapies, according to a new report prepared by NORC at the University of Chicago for the AHA, Federation of American Hospitals and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
 
Updating and expanding on a 2016 report on rising inpatient drug costs to include outpatient drug costs and the impact of drug shortages, the study found that average total drug spending per hospital admission increased by 18.5 percent between fiscal years 2015 and 2017, including increases in some drug classes of more than 80 percent and exceeding the Medicare payment update by fivefold.
 
“This report confirms that we are in the midst of a prescription drug spending crisis that threatens patient access to care and hospitals’ and health systems’ ability to provide the highest quality of care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack on a telephone briefing with reporters. “Solutions must be worked on to rein in out-of-control drug prices and ease the drug shortages that are putting a strain on patient care.”
 
In addition, the AHA and others today released:

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