FDA Tackles Drug Shortages
Posted by chcablogadmin in : Cost Reduction, Group Purchasing, Industry Trends, Quality
October 30, 2011
by John VanEeckhout, Pharm.D., Vice President, Clinical Services, CHCA
On Sept. 26, I participated as part of a panel discussion for the Drug Shortage Workshop presented by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. The objectives of the workshop were to update the status of drug shortages in the U.S. including trends over time and a discussion of the impact on patients and the health care system; describe the FDA’s role in and regulatory authority related to drug shortages; hear perspectives from the health care sector, patient representatives and the industry, and seek perspectives on solutions to alleviate or prevent drug shortages.
As part of the professional group panel offering recommendations, I shared the particular vulnerability of our children’s hospital patients — pediatric dose substitutions and different strengths; severity of medication errors on vulnerable patient population, and higher use of injectables to name a few. In addition, I outlined our specific drug shortages — hematology and oncology, electrolytes and trace elements used in TPNs for neonates and nutritionally at risk patients; specialized agents for diagnostic procedures such as intravenous Arginine, and controlled substances such as Morphine and Fentanyl in small dose forms to avoid overdoses. I shared our efforts to date to diminish the effects of the shortages such as close contact among pharmacy personnel, vendors, buyer groups and directors. We’ve also worked with Premier on education about the risks and costs associated with gray marketers.
Among our CHCA recommendations:
- Improve communications to end users and distributors of pending and existing drug shortages;
- Allocate remaining supplies by drug wholesalers or directly by the manufacturer;
- Create CDC-like, federally controlled repositories of critically needed drugs similar to pandemic and disaster supplies now in place;
- Review the effects of Regulatory Action by FDA with drug manufacturers; and
- Provide an incentive/stimulus to drug manufacturers by federal, state or local entities to maintain and improve or build new factories for manufacturing critical drugs in the U.S.
The FDA stated they would take more accountability and vowed to be much more effective in the future. They cited 100 drug shortages prevented by FDA intervention. For several of the drugs in limited supply, five vendors are expanding their plants in the next three to four years. Three tactics outlined are as follows:
- Better communication among vendors, distributors, hospitals and the FDA about shortages;
- Asking vendors to know who they are selling to, to avoid gray marketers or problems with drug pedigree; and
- Protecting the supply chain particularly for the most vulnerable patients, e.g. oncology, small unit production, low volume and high expense drugs.
Children’s hospitals were also represented as part of a ASHP Drug Shortages Summit Regulatory-Legislative Work Group by Michael P. Link, M.D., President-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a pediatric oncologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.
The CHCA Pharmacy Team is working on multiple fronts to counter drug shortage issues including legislative efforts, advance warnings and connecting available supplies to Owner Hospitals with an acute shortage of a drug product or unusually high demand. Specifically, we are working with partners on the following efforts:
- Premier Pharmacy Drug Shortage group for latest updates on their activities on supply availability and failure to supply refunds;
- Contracted Pharma vendors who can supply small quantities of short supply drugs for critical needs of patients e.g. chemotherapy treatments or other treatment regimens;
- CHCA Pharmacy Buyers and CHCA Pharmacy Directors who through networking and utilization of various legitimate drug wholesalers, expedite supplies of drug to their colleagues location in need of the drug in short supply; and
- Advocacy efforts through Healthcare Supply Chain Association (HSCA), HSCA Pharmacy Committee and Premier, and by talking directly to key decision makers on Capitol Hill.
Recently, I discussed drug shortages and their impact on children’s hospitals with Sen. Herb Kohl’s (D-WI) legislative aides and the Chief Investigator of the Special Committee on Aging. They are very interested in the gray market issues that have become a source of concern in our industry. I am supplying them information on gray market sources and examples of solicitation of our Owner Hospitals.
We are also in discussions with our current vendors to determine if we have any looming shortage issues we may not be aware of at this time. This is especially vital concerning drugs for special needs that are truly small market products.
Please contact me with any questions. (firstname.lastname@example.org).add a comment
GPO Due Diligence Update
Posted by chcablogadmin in : Group Purchasing
October 30, 2011
The GPO Due Diligence Task Force, chaired by Ben Melson, CFO, Texas Children’s Hospital, has evaluated RFP responses from major national GPOs. The solicited GPOs were Amerinet, HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG), MedAssets, Novation and Premier. With the assistance of Dan May of CSC, the Task Force is analyzing the proposals on the basis of their respective financial models, pediatric portfolio and strategic focus, ancillary value-add services, and other key attributes. The Task Force is focusing analytics on a traditional GPO partnership model, with an at-risk savings option for those Owners that desire a high-compliance model. The Task Force met with the GPOs in Dallas, Oct. 24-25, to discuss their proposals and continue the due diligence process.
Ben Melson and Dan May will present an update via a webcast scheduled for Fri., Nov. 4. They will share information on the GPO presentations to the Task Force with key observations, a summary of proposed deal models with associated financial projections, and Advisory Committee and Board input and feedback. There will be time for discussion and audience participation. (See below for time and links to participate.)
The Task Force will visit GPO corporate offices between mid-November and early December, and begin final deliberations to select a recommended partner for the CHCA Board to consider at their February meeting.
Note that, although the current agreement with Premier runs through the end of 2012, CHCA may exit that agreement and implement the new agreement (assumed to provide greater value) earlier in 2012, based on the final decisions of the Task Force, Advisory Committee and Board.
Webcast: GPO Due Diligence 11.04.11
Date: Friday, November 4, 2011
Time: 11:00am PT|12:00pm MT|1:00pm CT|2:00pm ET (60 minutes)
Audio: 800-289-5126 call-in | 616343 participant passcode
Please RSVP by 11/02
A Personal Note from Jerry Rutherford
Posted by chcablogadmin in : Leadership
September 18, 2011
I was thrilled to find out that the Board and CEO Search Committee selected Mark Wietecha to lead us into the future. I have had the professional pleasure of working with Mark on a number of projects, dating back to 1997, that have created significant value for the CHCA Owner Hospitals. In every situation, I learned a lot and had fun. Mark is a very familiar face to CHCA as well as many of our children’s hospitals. I believe he is uniquely positioned to guide our new organization through the decisions, details and intricacies of the merger and pave the way to accomplish our collective mission. The leadership transition process begins officially September 22, when Mark assumes his new role; but, as you might expect, we’re already off and running with important logistics and communications. I have committed to Mark that I will support him in any way possible to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for him, the children’s hospitals and CHCA staff. I will meet with Mark next week to better understand his perspective on how I can best provide that support.
On a personal note, my time as President and CEO of CHCA has been tremendously rewarding. We’ve gone through a period of change—with more to come—and I’m truly grateful for the support of all CHCA staff and the staff’s ability to remain focused on the needs and priorities of CHCA Owner Hospitals. As the CEOs of these wonderful institutions, I want to thank each of you (and will do so personally when I have the chance to see you) for the support and guidance you’ve provided me. More importantly, I want to thank you for entrusting me with this important interim stewardship role and hope that you have found your trust was well founded.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the CHCA Senior Team – Barbara Spreadbury, Craig Fischer, David Spizman, Jeff Primovic, Kassandra Jensen, Nancy Vasto and Sandra Tillman. They accepted me wholeheartedly and provided significant guidance, direction and support throughout the process. I also need to recognize Angie Leondedis and Sharon Smith who have been with me throughout, almost daily, to help facilitate open, transparent communications.
I am also thrilled to report that on August 31, we received notification from the Kansas City Business Journal that CHCA was selected as one of the winners in the annual Best Places to Work awards program. CHCA is one of 10 companies in the medium company (50 – 249 employees) category. With Mark’s selection as the new CEO, I’m confident this tradition will be sustained and the future will be exciting.
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Our Future: A Message from New President and CEO Mark Wietecha
Posted by chcablogadmin in : Leadership
September 18, 2011
(Editor’s note: this memo was sent to all members jointly by NACHRI/N.A.C.H. and CHCA communications staff Friday, September 16, on behalf of Mark Wietecha.)
Thank you for the opportunity to work with you to advance the success of your institutions through our new organization. It is truly a privilege for me. I look forward to meeting you and better understanding the needs of your institutions over the coming months. Together, we will make great progress in advancing our mission and your success, and most importantly, the health interests and future of children.
Our immediate priorities are to keep the current work initiatives moving and to accelerate the process of bringing our new organization together. It is critical we achieve the best possible impact on the direction of public policy as it relates to the financing of children’s health care, medical education and research. The political process is in full swing, and we are working thoughtfully to fully mobilize our strategy and influence to make a difference. There is much activity underway, and you can expect continued updates over the coming days and weeks.
To accelerate the integration of our new organization, I am working with Peggy Troy and the Interim Management Committee (IMC) to begin the leadership transition. My time commitment will steadily increase over the coming months as I conclude my current duties, and we will continue to rely on Peggy and the IMC’s continuity over this period. Our immediate priorities are to bring together the legacy plans of CHCA, NACHRI and N.A.C.H., to assess how we can be more effective in meeting your needs, and to begin aligning our operating organization and finances. It is our goal to move these processes along on a timely basis, and ensure you – our members – are providing your input on our direction and priorities. This is your organization. We will be working through Jim Mandell and the new Board to reach out to you and define how we expect these initiatives to unfold over the balance of 2011 and over the course of 2012.
Thank you again with warmest personal regards,
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