Is Big Pharma Cooking Up the Current Drug Shortage?

Rom Shinkman | Fierce Health Finance | October 4, 2011

Many hospital finance executives have had that sudden and unpleasant expense pop up on their monthly expense spreadsheet as of late: The normally cheap generic injectable or oral medication suddenly costing 20 or 50 times the normal price--if it can be had at all.

There is a nationwide drug shortage that's impacting hospitals both in terms of patient safety and the bottom line. As the Associated Press reported last month, those shortages have been linked to 15 patient deaths. It could cost the nation's acute care facilities more than $400 million this year.

I have a healthy (or unhealthy) intellectual curiosity, depending on whom you ask. So I decided to take a closer look at the drug shortage bulletins issued by the University of Utah and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists to get a better idea of the causations for this shortage...