Reduce Drug Costs: One Hospital Expects $170,000 Savings from SQ Erythropoietic Drug Switch

Reduce Drug Costs: One Hospital Expects $170,000 Savings from SQ Erythropoietic Drug Switch

When quality and cost are in constant competition, as they are in health care, new products or procedures that are lower cost and also therapeutically successful can be valuable discoveries for both the patient and the facility. Successful performance improvement measures and discoveries that have helped hospitals meet these industry challenges are posted on The Healthcare Management Council’s KnowledgeWeb™ (http://www. HMC-Benchmarks. com/hospital/tools_kw. shtml) and shared with healthcare professionals around the country.

(PRWEB) November 14, 2003

Needham, MA (PRWEB) November 3, 2003 – High drug prices make it difficult for hospitals today to contain pharmaceutical costs without compromising the quality of patient care. John Solomon, Director of Pharmacy Services at Westmoreland Health System (WHS) in Greensburg, PA, was confronted with this problem when he discovered through The Healthcare Management Council Inc. benchmark (http://www. HMC-Benchmarks. com/hospital/ (http://www. HMC-Benchmarks. com/hospital/)) that his facility was spending more than others on pharmaceuticals.

Solomon and his team began testing the effectiveness of new, more cost efficient drugs and found AmgenÂ’s new SQ erythropoietic drug, Aranesp, to be one of those rare innovations in pharmacy that reduces costs, while maintaining quality performance.

Therapeutically, Aranesp has performed successfully at WHS. The side effects have been favorable and there have been no significant changes in patient outcomes. Financially, Solomon predicts that using Aranesp will result in a $170,000 savings for the health system this year.

Aranesp has been developed as a longer-acting drug relative to AmgenÂ’s current product, Epogen, or Johnson & JohnsonÂ’s Procrit. The new drug can be given as little as once every three weeks, compared to the previously existing drugs, which are used from once weekly up to three times weekly. The switch to Aranesp results in fewer doses per patient per treatment cycle and has led to a 20-40% decrease in cost per patient at WHS.

Solomon and the staff at WHS have found that their patients respond best to one injection per week.

This idea is part of HMC’s collection of “Successes and Good Ideas,” articles highlighting successful performance improvement measures in health care. For more information on these articles and other HMC hospital networking events visit http://www. HMC-Benchmarks. com/hospital/ccs. shtml (http://www. HMC-Benchmarks. com/hospital/ccs. shtml).

Contact: Shelley Burns (SHBurns@HMCOnline. net)

The Healthcare Management Council, Inc.

Area: Hospital Performance Improvement

Web site: http://www. HMC-Benchmarks. com (http://www. HMC-Benchmarks. com)

Phone: (262) 242-9471

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