Medical purchasing organizations keep critical drugs in short supply

Despite a new law to prevent just such occurrences, the economic power of large hospital purchasing organizations such as MedAssets, Novation, Premier, HealthTrust and Amerinet has caused shortages of critical drugs and generics by slashing manufacturers' profit margins and reducing the number of suppliers. The result is that more than 300 drugs, including anesthetics, chemotherapeutic agents, antibiotics and painkillers were in short supply in July, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

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