ASHP’s Annual Reports Help Pharmacists Plan for the Future

Dear Colleagues,

Each year, ASHP issues three industry-leading reports and a range of other survey findings that offer critical insights into the current scope of pharmacy practice in hospitals and health systems and lay the groundwork for the transformations needed to meet the demands of future patient care delivery models.

ASHP’s prescription drug expenditures report helps our members provide their hospitals and health systems with essential strategic guidance on operational decisions about prescription drug spending. The report is also widely read by many other healthcare leaders, including policymakers at the federal and state levels.   

This year’s report, released April 24, shows that total annual U.S. spending on prescription drugs grew by double digits in 2023. The increase came mostly from the explosive growth in the use of diabetes medications for weight loss — an ongoing trend that’s been observed, to some extent, in hospital outpatient clinics.

But the report also provides reassurance that hospital and health-system pharmacy departments are successfully using the tools at their disposal to help manage drug costs. Looking ahead, the report’s authors predict that spending on inpatient prescription drugs will be flat this year. Although drug spending at hospital clinics is likely to remain high, the report predicts some general relief as provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act help push down drug costs.

ASHP understands the complexity of the budgeting process in healthcare. So, we’re pleased to provide the annual expenditures update to help our members and their organizations make key resource allocation decisions and to provide other healthcare industry leaders with important insights as well.

Another highly anticipated annual report from ASHP — our national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings — is slated for release this month.

The report provides a yearly snapshot of how hospital and health-system pharmacy teams manage specific components of the medication-use system. Pharmacy leaders can use the report as a general benchmark for the implementation and expansion of pharmacy services and initiatives that improve patient care and advance pharmacy practice.

The latest report, expected to be available online in AJHP on May 23, covers medication preparation, drug distribution technology, and pharmacy staffing. Survey participants were also asked about their progress toward Practice Advancement Initiative 2030 goals, including pharmacist prescribing, data analytics, transitions of care, advanced roles for pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy practice in ambulatory care clinics.

Although ASHP conducts the annual survey as a valuable member service, the report owes its success to the willingness of pharmacy professionals across the country to participate in the survey and share their experiences with us.

That’s also the case for our annual Pharmacy Forecast report, the latest installment of which will be released in December and previewed at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana. This session is always highly attended, and ASHP is pleased to share highlights of the findings with our Midyear meeting attendees.

In addition to our three signature reports, ASHP also conducts surveys and develops periodic reports on specialty pharmacy practice and other emerging areas of interest. We also survey our members about topics of urgent concern, such as workforce challenges and the effects of drug product shortages.

As a member-driven organization, ASHP understands the need to monitor the pulse of patient care, public health, science, and pharmacy practice. Your voice is important to ASHP and your community of 60,000 colleagues who call ASHP their professional home, and your engagement in ASHP surveys allows us to develop tools and resources that help you meet today’s challenges and prepare for the future.

Thank you for all you do for your patients and our profession.



Posted on May 17, 2024