Premier releases annual report on national drug shortage programs

Premier Inc. recently released an annual report on its national drug shortage programs, detailing key accomplishments and successful outcomes that have been achieved in collaboration with nearly 1,600 member hospitals.

Premier said its approach to addressing drug shortages includes partnerships with 25 leading manufacturers to reliably supply its members with nearly 150 shortage drugs by National Drug Code (NDC). Annually, Premier’s programs ship approximately 11.4 million units of shortage drugs to facilities across the nation.

“Our ability to take action and alleviate shortages of lifesaving drugs speaks to the core strengths of Premier and the differentiated value provided by our group purchasing organization,” said Premier President Michael J. Alkire in a release. “Guided by our member health systems, Premier’s multi-faceted approach is eliminating drug shortages with both short- and long-term solutions that are increasing competition and improving the economic health of the market.”


Premier said it identifies safe, high-quality supply sources for drugs that are or may be at risk of being added to the national drug shortage list. “In doing so, Premier protects its members from supply fluctuations that may affect the market at large,” the organization said in a release. “Recognizing the varied issues that lead to drug shortages, Premier has a successful record of remediating the flaws in the generic drug economic model, most recently with the creation of its ProvideGx program in 2019.”

ProvideGx’s mission is to ensure health systems have continuous and affordable access to shortage medications, as well as those in categories that lack competition. In 2019 alone, ProvideGx added 18 new drugs to its portfolio, almost all of which were on the shortage list at the time of launch, Premier said, including metoprolol; cysteine hydrochloride; sodium bicarbonate; diphenhydramine; hydromorphone; lidocaine; morphine; thiamine; phytonadione injection; vincristine; and emergency, pre-filled syringes of calcium chloride, epinephrine, sodium bicarbonate, atropine sulfate, dextrose and lidocaine.

Other key accomplishments highlighted in the report include:

Speeding emergency response times. Pre-filled syringes are the standard for emergency care because they offer the precise adult dose in a ready-to-use formulation, speeding response times and minimizing the potential for dosing errors. Unfortunately, across the country, emergency syringes used to treat allergic reactions, manage trauma and reverse the effects of poisonings are hard to come by. Without them, first responders are forced to wastes precious time during a medical emergency administering drugs using vials or turning to substitutes. In response, ProvideGx partnered with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals to increase the supply of seven front-line drugs clinicians routinely use in emergency department crash carts. With creative financing and group purchasing options, ProvideGx created a remedy to the emergency syringe shortage problem.

Ensuring availability before, during and after pandemic events. Between 80-90% of all raw ingredients used for U.S. drugs are in China. Given the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in China, closures of seaports or restrictions on exports could compromise supply and lead to shortages. To address this, ProvideGx requires that manufacturers disclose plant locations, as well as the country of origin for all active pharmaceutical ingredients. Manufacturers with an undue concentration of facilities in a single region are passed over in favor of those that source from multiple countries or continents. None of the drugs currently on ProvideGx contracts contain ingredients sourced from China, and all have diverse supply chains to ensure a continuous supply of life-saving products before, during and after an outbreak.

To view the report, visit: