THE USE OF INDICES TO CONTROL DRUG COST IN HOSPITALS
The cost of drugs used in hospitals and other health care institutions is continuing to escalate, but there has been no effort made to determine what knowledge the pharmacy administrator has in reference to drug costs. In addition, there had been almost no attempts made to design a method to chart the changes taking place in the cost of drugs used in hospitals and other health care facilities.
This study surveyed selected hospitals in the United States to determine what information was available concerning drug cost, what method of control was used to determine if costs were changing and what methods of charting changes were recommended by the pharmacy administrators surveyed. The writer also developed and tested a group of indices that could be used by a health care facility to chart changes in the cost of drugs and to determine why these changes were taking place.
The study concluded that the pharmacy administrators surveyed had very little knowledge concerning the cost of hospital operations, the cost of drugs or the reasons that the cost of drugs change. A series of indices were used to describe and chart drug changes in a selected hospital showing that changes might be due to inflation, census, patient-mix or pharmacologic drug use.
The importance of this information was demonstrated for the budgeting process, third party reimbursement formulas and the development of drug utilization review programs. It recommended that health care facilities use indices to chart drug costs in order to be able to control this supply expense better.