Drug Shortage, Huge Markups Angering Hospital Pharmacists

Huge drug shortages and dramatic distributor markups on life-saving products have been cause for concern and frustration among hospital pharmacists, according to a San Antonio Express-News report.

Mark Richerson, director of pharmacy at Christus Santa Rosa Health Care in San Antonio, said cytarabine (when combined with antibiotics) has a 40-50 percent cure rate for patients with acute myeloid leukemia. The drug is listed as being in short supply, but Miami-based Allied Medical Supply is providing 17 vials of the drug for $995 per vial. The costs represent a dramatic markup of more than 6,200 percent, according to the news report.

Other healthcare systems, including Baptist Health System and Methodist Healthcare System, both also in San Antonio, are experiencing similar frustrations. According to a spokesperson for the Texas Attorney General's office, the distributors are not breaking any state laws and Texas does not have any jurisdiction over drug pricing, according to the news report.

Read the news report about drug shortages and distributor markups in Texas.

Related Articles on Drug Shortages:
Hospira Producing Propofol Again
American Society of Anesthesiologists Conducts Survey on Drug Shortages
South Dakota Hospitals Search for Ways to Weather Drug Shortage

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