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Healthcare Insights

Top 25 hospitals with the highest pharmacy costs

Patient access to affordable pharmaceuticals is vital to improving care outcomes, managing chronic illness, and keeping healthcare costs down. However, patients must also understand the necessity of taking medications as prescribed and remain invested in their own care.

Pharmacists are increasingly being drawn into discussions of patient engagement, as their role in filling prescriptions means they are likely to see patients more often than providers.

We compiled a list of the top 25 hospitals by total pharmacy costs. See who made the list below.

Top 25 hospitals by highest pharmacy costs

Rank Hospital name Pharmacy costs Explore dataset
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center $1,274,828,203  Explore
Dana Farber Cancer Institute $730,856,185  Explore
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center $729,372,529  Explore
The University of Kansas Hospital $565,488,957  Explore
Strong Memorial Hospital $538,739,176  Explore
Tisch Hospital $466,149,359  Explore
UK Albert B Chandler Hospital $464,523,296  Explore
Duke University Hospital $450,288,071  Explore
NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center $415,958,266  Explore
10 UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital $409,479,878  Explore
11 University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center $409,479,878  Explore
12 Moffitt Cancer Center Magnolia Campus $398,259,187  Explore
13 UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights $386,527,130  Explore
14 The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute $382,190,299  Explore
15 UC San Diego Medical Center $357,254,737  Explore
16 UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus $356,969,317  Explore
17 Northwestern Memorial Hospital $356,852,530  Explore
18 Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center $327,804,916  Explore
19 UChicago Medicine Mitchell Hospital $325,818,501  Explore
20 City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital $309,401,192  Explore
21 Hackensack University Medical Center $296,912,966  Explore
22 Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center $289,524,654  Explore
23 Penn State Health Milton S Hershey Medical Center $284,122,250  Explore
24 Parkland Health $284,089,453  Explore
25 NewYork-Presbyterian Queens $282,197,432  Explore

Fig. 1 Data from Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product. Data accessed December 2022. 

Which hospital has the highest pharmacy costs?

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports the highest pharmacy costs, with more than $1.2 billion. Next is Dana Farber Cancer Institute, with $730,856,185. Close behind and in third place was the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, with a pharmacy expenditure of $729 million.

What are pharmacy costs like in oncology?

Notably, the top three hospitals, as well as two others on the list—Moffitt Cancer Center Magnolia Campus and The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute—are cancer centers. Hospitals that specialize in cancer care likely maintain higher pharmacy costs as oncologists treat cancer with many different types of drugs.

Interestingly, oncology doesn’t rank in the top 15 physician specialists by highest propensity to prescribe branded drugs. This discrepancy may be explained by the fact that cancer drugs tend to be very expensive, with one year of cancer treatment per patient often costing more than $100,000. Even more, the intravenous administration of cancer drugs also requires the use of pharmacy supplies.

What are hospital pharmacy services?

Hospital pharmacy services involve the selection, preparation, storage, compounding, and dispensation of medications for use by patients in medical environments. Pharmacists in hospitals create medication plans and educate patients on how to take their medication, among other responsibilities.

What are hospital pharmacy costs?

Pharmacy spending is the cost of drugs and pharmacy supplies requested by patient care departments as well as the drugs charged to patients. Pharmacy supplies include items such as medication bottles, ointment jars, and labels.

Learn more

Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.