CONNECTICUT HOSPITAL DROPS 80% OF GENERICS; CITES "CONCERN FOR PATIENT SAFETY"
New Haven, Connecticut's Hospital of Saint Raphael has decided to suspend use of 197 of the 250 generic products used at the hospital due to "concern for patient safety." The hospital announced Oct. 16 that its Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee had "recommended the replacement of 80% of the generic drugs now being used at the 491-bed community teaching hospital with brand-name equivalents." The hospital said that the action is "effective immediately" and will cost "an estimated $100,000 a year." St. Raphael maintained that the additional expense "is not expected to affect patients." The hospital is the sixth largest in the state. St. Raphael cited the "alleged unethical conduct by some generic drug companies" in explaining the committee's decision. However, the hospital said it will continue to use generic drugs supplied by Elkins-Sinn, LyphoMed and Roxane Labs. The hospital said it will continue to dispense generic drugs from the three manufacturers "because hospital officials have no reason to suspect unethical conduct on the part of" these companies. The three generic firms supply "about 50 drugs" used by St. Raphael Hospital. The hospital said its pharmacy fills 2.5 mil. doses a year from its stock of roughly 1,000 drugs. Until now, generics have represented "about half" the medications dispensed. The Generic Pharmaceutical Industry Association said that St. Raphael is the first hospital it is aware of that has taken such a step in response to the ongoing generic scandal.
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