Issue Brief

No. 784

Prescription Drugs in Nursing Homes: Managing Costs and Quality in a Complex Environment
November 12, 2002


Dan Mendelson, Rajeev Ramchand, Richard Abramson, MD & Anne Tumlinson, Consultants


This issue brief provides a description of prescription drug use in nursing homes and a summary of policy issues in this area. It first profiles the nursing home pharmaceutical market, outlining the major trends in demographics and drug utilization, the supply chain by which drugs go from manufacturers to pharmacies to nursing home residents, and the alternative arrangements by which prescription drugs in nursing homes are financed. The paper then provides a synopsis of current policy issues, focusing in turn on cost containment and quality improvement initiatives.

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