Skip to Main Content

A group of lawmakers introduced a bill to reduce the medicine that is wasted each year because many drugs are distributed in so-called single-use vials that contain more than most patients need. The move follows various reports that large quantities of different types of medicines — from expensive cancer treatments to pricey eye drops — are wasted each year because of packaging.

An analysis published last year, for instance, estimated that $2.8 billion is wasted each year by government and private insurers on cancer meds, which are typically injected or infused in doctor’s offices and hospitals based on a patient’s weight. However, the drugs are packaged in uniform-sized vials, which often generate leftover medicine that must be discarded due to safety standards.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!