Reducing Single-Use Vial Waste May Require Regulatory Action
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, while acknowledging that payers are concerned about waste and extra expense that may occur when some of the medication in a single-use vial is discarded, says there’s little private payers can do to help offset this waste. In fact, it’s urging CMS to discontinue the requirement that providers report data on unused medication, while also recommending several regulatory steps that it says could help the overall cost problem.
The congressionally mandated report from the National Academies notes that many of these drugs are among the most expensive on the market. But the excess portions of single-dose vials that are discarded don’t necessarily represent waste at all, says study committee chair Edward Shortliffe, M.D., Ph.D., chair emeritus and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Department of Biomedical Informatics.