The number of active drug shortages in the U.S. has remained above 200 since 2017. As a result, patients and prescribers in the U.S. face disruption in accessing medications, sometimes impacting life-saving care. Group purchasing organization (GPO) Vizient, Inc. announced the formation of a new alliance to end drug shortages in the U.S.
The End Drug Shortages Alliance will provide a forum for key stakeholders across the industry to take strategic aim at one of the healthcare industry’s most pressing and enduring issues, according to a Vizient press release.
In 2019, a Vizient member survey revealed that managing drug shortages costs U.S. hospitals more than $359 million annually in labor alone.
The new alliance will formally bring together industry stakeholders, including providers, group purchasing organizations, manufacturers, distributors and other industry thought leaders. Efforts will focus on improving access to medications through greater transparency across market participants, leading to improved quality manufacturing of medications and production of additional supply.
Vizient, along with members and supplier partners, recently achieved a significant milestone of 100 million units of essential medications or up to six months of additional inventory based on member purchases into to the supply chain since its inception less than two years ago.
Executives of the company attribute success of the program to a new level of collaboration and support between its member healthcare organizations and contracted suppliers.