Collin Tebo BA Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington, DC

Prices for Drugs Commonly Used in Emergency Departments Rise Substantially Interview with:
Collin Tebo BA Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington, DCCollin Tebo 
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Washington, DC What is the background for this study?

Response: The growing cost of pharmaceuticals is an issue of increasing concern in the United States where a large portion of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product is health care spending. During the past decade, visits to Emergency Departments (EDs) have increased considerably. Pharmaceutical drugs are utilized in the care of most patients who visit the ED therefore, rising drug prices are a concern for emergency medicine physicians, administrators, and patients throughout the US. What are the main findings?

Response: Our study sought to characterize changes in pharmaceutical costs in the most commonly used medications in the emergency department setting. We found that between 2006-2015, the aggregate costs of the most common medications administered in the ED increased by nearly one third while the costs of medications prescribed at discharge nearly double. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The costs for drugs commonly used in the care of patients in the ED have substantially increased over the past decade. Some medications, such as epinephrine injectors saw disproportionate increases. Increasing pharmaceutical prices and utilization of certain medications are likely to be driving factors. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Our study suggests that further research into the drivers of increased pharmaceutical costs is warranted. Additionally, research into how price increases may disproportionately affect vulnerable patient populations, potentially leading to cost related noncompliance, worse outcomes, and avoidable ED visits is warranted as well. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: We hope that this study stimulates further research and policy solutions to address the rising costs of pharmaceuticals in the United States. We have no disclosures.


Collin Tebo, Maryann Mazer-Amirshahi, Mark S. Zocchi, Colin Gibson, Sarah Rosenwohl-Mack, Renee Y. Hsia, Erin R. Fox, Lewis S. Nelson, Jesse M. Pines,
The rising cost of commonly used emergency department medications (2006–15),
The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Feb 2020



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Last Updated on February 22, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD