Nearly 60% of surveyed hospital pharmacists said that government regulations have forced them to throw away scarce medications, despite the ongoing drug shortage, MSNBC's "Vitals" reports.
For the survey, the Institute of Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) polled 715 hospital pharmacy directors, managers, and clinicians.
According to the findings, roughly 61% of respondents said they "feel compelled" to throw away injectable drugs, citing fears of industry or government sanctions. According to MSNBC's "Vitals," current regulations—including those enforced by CMS—require pharmacists to follow drugmakers' written instructions for storage, stability, and expiration dates, although information may be outdated.
The survey found that about 80% of respondents said that the rules "often" or "always" result in unnecessary medication waste. Meanwhile, 97% of surveyed pharmacists said they believed regulations contribute to the drug shortage.More than 100 different drugs have been discarded, including Velcade, a cancer treatment now in short supply that costs between $1,500 and $2,500 per 3.5-milligram vial.
According to MSNBC, although CMS did not respond to requests for comment about the survey, CMS chief medical officer Patrick Conway has said the agency would work with ISMP to resolve the package instruction issue (Aleccia, "Vitals," MSNBC, 3/22).