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You are here News Health 47 Hospitals Slashed Their Use Of 2 Key Heart Drugs After Huge Price Hikes

47 Hospitals Slashed Their Use Of 2 Key Heart Drugs After Huge Price Hikes

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Drug price hikes lead to disuse by hospitalsEven before media reports and a congressional hearing vilified Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for raising prices on a pair of lifesaving heart drugs, Dr. Umesh Khot knew something was very wrong.

Khot is a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, which prides itself on its outstanding heart care. The health system's internal monitoring system had alerted doctors about the skyrocketing cost of the drugs, nitroprusside and isoproterenol. But these two older drugs, frequently used in emergency and intensive care situations, have no direct alternatives.

"If we are having concerns, what is happening nationally?" Khot wondered.

As it turned out, a lot was happening.

Following major price increases, use of the two cardiac medicines has dramatically decreased at 47 hospitals, according to a research letter Khot and two others published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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