Procured Health Launches Evidence-Based Pharmacy Solutions to Tackle Escalating Drug Spend and Inappropriate Utilization

Procured Health, the foremost provider of actionable information to cut device costs and improve care along the patient pathway, today announced the launch of its web-based Pharmacy solutions. These solutions link a health system’s drug spend and utilization data to clinical evidence, providing healthcare leaders with strategic opportunities to eliminate unnecessary spending and care variation. Procured Health has developed these offerings over the last 12 months in pilot programs spanning over 50 hospitals.

“Recent advances in pharmaceuticals have come at record-breaking costs to health systems,” said Bonnie Lai, PhD, Procured Health vice president of Pharmacy solutions. “While some of these new drugs have undoubtedly helped patients, incremental improvements often come with great financial toxicity. Until now, health systems have lacked efficient systems to evaluate their drug spend and utilization through a lens of clinical evidence to ensure they are making choices that offer the greatest patient benefit at the lowest cost.”

As an example, Lai points to one health system’s utilization of Exparel, an analgesic used to manage pain in hip and knee surgery patients. While the system was paying significantly more for Exparel than similar drugs, Procured Health found that the evidence did not demonstrate improved patient outcomes. “Once pharmacy leaders saw how much the system was spending unnecessarily on Exparel, they identified the highest-use facilities and worked with them to reduce overall spend by an anticipated 85%, or just under $1 million,” she said. “That savings benefits both the hospital and our healthcare system as a whole.”

Unlike other tools intended to manage drug spend and utilization, Procured Health’s Pharmacy solutions  do not rely on ineffective cost or outcomes benchmarking. Instead, they use evidence-based comparisons of drugs to identify inappropriate utilization and provide strategic improvement recommendations based on an analysis of a health system’s own data. The solutions also break new ground by:

  • Analyzing a hospital’s current prescribing patterns for supporting evidence
  • Accounting for confounding data, such as comorbidities, by using ICD-10 diagnoses to match drug orders to the most likely indication for use
  • Dissecting physician-level utilization data to identify whom to engage on specific initiatives

“There’s so much room for improvement in the way hospital pharmacies manage drug utilization,” said Amy Watson, director of pharmacy at Asante. “Procured Health’s analysis of the evidence available in the literature is impressive, and when they combine that with our data, it gives us the insight we need to address utilization issues before they become serious problems. Their clinical focus allows us to have conversations with our physicians that focus on patient care first and then balance that out with questions about cost.”

According to Lai, Procured Health’s Pharmacy solutions are also designed to offset the sophisticated marketing tactics often employed by the pharmaceutical industry. “We’ve seen a lot of cases where hospitals could have used lower cost alternatives that would have been equally effective,” she said. “There’s a wealth of unbiased data available, but many pharmacy departments lack the resources to continuously monitor that data.”

Christy Ciccarello, vice president of clinical pharmacy services at Novant Health, agrees. “Procured Health’s Pharmacy solutions are significant for us from a time standpoint,” she said. “It’s extremely time consuming for our pharmacists to dig through all available evidence, let alone apply it to our specific set of circumstances. In exploring this solution, I am confident it can free our pharmacists from data mining, and enable them to work top of license and redirect that energy on patient care.”

Procured Health CEO Hani Elias views the Pharmacy solutions as critical to the company’s goal of eliminating unnecessary variation and introducing evidence into patient care. “We see a significant opportunity to help health systems improve care by reducing the unwarranted variation and high costs often associated with drugs as well as medical devices,” he said. “When you apply relevant and proven clinical evidence to a health system pharmacy’s specific challenges, you start to drive real change.”

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About Procured Health

Procured Health is at the forefront of clinical-decision making for drugs and devices, offering evidence-based solutions and services for all providers that improve  care and reduce cost across the patient journey. For more information, visit