Hospital formularies identify the medications that can be used within a particular hospital. Which drugs are, and which drugs are not, available obviously have a significant impact on the quality and safety of patient care. As such, we would expect clinicians and pharmacists to utilize all available data when making decisions concerning medications for hospitalized patients.
Word on Health was therefore somewhat surprised by the results of a new survey just released by the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). According to their research, only 13% of formulary system decisions made by Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) committees in hospitals are influenced by pharmacoeconomic data.
The survey of 319 directors of pharmacy or pharmacy practice managers evaluated the value of effects compared to the cost of pharmaceutical products when making decisions on changes to the formulary system.
In the study, 87% of respondents felt that pharamacoeconomic methods should be used when considering additions or deletions to their hospital formulary. However, when actually making formulary decisions, respondents reported that clinical and therapeutic factors contributed most to these decisions (54%), followed by drug costs (24%), and patient quality of life (9%).
Although, more than nine out of ten survey respondents reported having pharmacoeconomic analysis available during their most recent P&T committee discussion, only a quarter rated the available information as extremely helpful.
“Pharmacoeconomics is all about balancing the costs of medications with the outcomes they provide and this survey pointed out that many P&T Committees underutilize this approach,” said SHM Chief Executive Officer, Laurence Wellikson.
The full report of the SHM-ASHP pharmacoeconomics survey can be found here.
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