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Can J Hosp Pharm. 1994 Feb;47(1):5-7.

Measurement of insulin wastage in five Ontario hospitals.

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Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals, Hamilton, Ontario.


This study was designed to determine the extent of insulin wastage and the extrapolated cost of wastage for Ontario hospitals. The five hospitals in the study were chosen to include differences in patient mix and drug distribution systems. Beginning and ending inventories of all insulin types were taken spanning a six-week period. The quantity of insulin dispensed and wasted during this time period was recorded. Partial vials were measured using a calibrated scale. Wastage was calculated as insulin discarded divided by the amount of insulin used in the time period. Insulin wastage averaged 34.1%. This was equivalent to up to $8,000 a year for the largest hospital surveyed and translates to an estimated cost of $360,000 a year in all Ontario hospitals. Therefore, hospitals should estimate their insulin wastage and seek ways to reduce it. The pharmaceutical industry should be encouraged to develop cost-effective insulin delivery systems.

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