Skip Navigation

A longtime leader in healthcare improvement, we’re developing new ways to revolutionize the industry.

We deliver transformative solutions that power real results. See how we can help.

Optimizing Supply Chain
Integrating Pharmacy
Maximizing Value-Based Care
Awards and Recognition

Transforming healthcare is more than our objective, it’s in our DNA. We’re dedicated to ensuring better health is just the beginning.


Guided by our values, our employees work every day to make meaningful differences in healthcare. At the core of what we do is our most valuable resource - our people. Learn more about us.

Board of Directors
Speakers Bureau

Premier is more than a GPO. Combining robust analytics with consulting and advocacy, we’re changing the healthcare landscape for the better.

Collective purchasing power lowers costs across your organization.

Intelligence plus unparalleled analytics equals data-driven solutions.

It’s only impossible until it’s not. Premier and our team of experts are transforming care delivery.

Work with Premier members to lower costs, improve quality and safety and succeed in value-based care.

A voice for better healthcare policy is a voice for you.

Working closely with our members, we’re developing products and services to solve your most complex challenges.

Lower costs, greater efficiencies and a healthier bottom line.

Proven practices that result in better outcomes.

Intersecting specialty drugs with better management and data-driven best practices.

Controlling your future with integrated care delivery practices.

More savings and ROI is a win-win.

Data diving to deliver insights you can act on.

Supporting healthcare transformation through the generation of real-world evidence.

Working closely with our members, we're developing products and services to solve your most complex challenges.

Discover what leading healthcare providers are achieving through Premier membership.

Stay informed with our white papers, webinars and e-books.

Browse our blog for a taste of what’s new and what’s next in healthcare.

Premier’s perspectives have been solicited by nationally renowned publications. Read on.

Read Premier’s latest announcements.

Catch our policy statements and perspectives on the latest in DC.

Compelling stories from the front lines of America’s health systems.

The proactive, predictive and behind-the-scenes insights you need to stay ahead in healthcare delivered monthly to your inbox.

The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing: Drug Shortages


As pharmaceutical manufacturers are expected to prioritize vaccine production for the nation’s COVID-19 response, Premier data finds that a range of drugs critical to patient care are slipping into shortage.

Alongside the emergence of the Omicron variant and ongoing disease spikes, the prioritization of COVID-19 vaccine production is both rational and prudent. However, a highly consolidated supply chain has created unreasonable demand and overreliance on manufacturers who find challenges in expanding production or shifting capacity in a resource-constrained environment.

Follow the Fill Rate

Knowing and understanding fill rates, the rate at which medicine purchase orders are filled and shipped, is a foundational component to pharmaceutical supply chain management and preparedness. A strong fill rate is at or near 100 percent, meaning suppliers can fulfill customer demand without stockouts, backorders or lost sales.

Premier leverages fill rate trends as one mechanism to help determine the health of the supply chain. For drugs, we consider a healthy fill rate to be above 90 percent, and anything that falls below 80 percent is an early indication that demand is outpacing supply and that shortages may be imminent.

For instance, consider the fill rate trends for methylprednisolone acetate injection. Premier’s data as of December 2021 indicates that fill rates have been below 80 percent since at least August 2021 and continue to trend downwards. In the graph below:

  • The red line reflects total units member hospitals have ordered through their wholesalers;
  • The yellow line reflects the total units hospitals received through their wholesaler; and
  • The blue line reflects the subsequent fill rate.

Source: Premier purchasing and fill rate data

Methylprednisolone acetate is often used to treat pain and swelling that occurs with a variety of conditions, and the current fill rates are not adequate to deliver quality patient care. This particular drug shortage is a result of two of the three FDA-approved suppliers encountering manufacturing issues simultaneously.

  • Per the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Pfizer is facing shortages due to increased volume and capacity being dedicated to vaccine manufacturing and is not expected to recover its methylprednisolone acetate injection production until 2023.
  • Another supplier is experiencing quality issues with their facility and does not have a date for when product will reenter the marketplace.
  • Consequently, we are left with just one supplier in the market at this time trying to meet demand for this product.

On Dec. 7, 2021, Premier formally reported a shortage of methylprednisolone acetate injection to the FDA. On Dec. 16, 2021, the FDA added this product to their drug shortage list.

Unfortunately, methylprednisolone acetate is not the only product to slip into shortage as the main producers of generic drugs and raw materials are forced to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines as well as vaccine-related supplies and components ahead of routine production schedules. Similar dynamics exist for a range of essential products (see chart below).


Source: Premier purchasing and fill rate data

Monitoring fill rate data has allowed Premier to provide early communication to both our members and the FDA on potential or impending shortages related to COVID-19 vaccine production. The faster we can respond by working with suppliers to shore up production and working with our members to review clinical protocols and patient demand, the more likely we are to protect patient care in the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine production is not slowing down ─ and maintaining diligent review of the market will be critical to enabling access to vital therapies for providers and patients.

For more than two decades, Premier has been a leader in mitigating pervasive drug shortages. We’ve built forward-thinking capabilities to help protect the drug supply chain in times of disruption – which is why our members are faring better during COVID-19 than most others.

  • ProvideGx® leverages aggregated demand from Premier members via a committed “buyers’ club” strategy – giving drug manufacturers proper demand signaling, predictable revenue and the surety needed to ramp up production or enter new markets. Efforts are paying off as members have weathered demand spikes of 150 percent or more since March 2020 – with limited interruptions in supply. And the program is having a long-lasting impact on the industry overall, as 14 products added to ProvideGx have subsequently been delisted from the FDA drug shortage list.
  • Leveraging the ProvideGx platform, Rapid Commit™ assists Premier members with short-term drug market supply disruptions. Rapid Commit facilitates commitment to purchase orders for pre-approved quantities at specific limited time offers, enabling product availability while also driving cost savings.
  • PremierProRx®, our private label program, focuses primarily on sterile injectable products and has protective coverage for 136 NDCs (as of Dec. 13, 2021) that are currently on the drug shortage list.
  • Together with our members, we’re supporting greater drug supply chain competition, diversity and domestic production through our investments in pharmaceutical manufacturers Exela and VGYAAN.
  • Premier’s own distribution partner, FFF Enterprises, helps enable timely access to products and support. Premier works with FFF and our members to dynamically allocate products to members based on clinical need in addition to purchase history, which facilitates a nimble response during tight constraints.
  • With market intelligence on production capacity and release of key products, Premier nimbly connects suppliers with providers who are in need. We build trusted supplier relationships to enable open communication and sourcing avenues, and keep a keen focus on quality, redundancy and sustainability when vetting suppliers.
  • We are championing advocacy efforts on behalf of healthcare providers through Premier’s Advocacy Team in Washington D.C. During the pandemic, we’ve secured more than 50 regulatory and legislative changes to enable providers’ COVID-19 response.

And we will continue to leverage our robust data capabilities to help identify and predict drug shortages and alert the FDA and ASHP, as well as proactively implement shortage mitigation strategies for our members.

About Premier’s Data

Premier tracks hospitals’ purchasing data for pharmaceuticals and supplies through its group purchasing organization, which serves 4,400 U.S. hospitals and health systems and more than 225,000 non-acute providers. Our data provides a strong early indicator of how hospitals are prioritizing drugs, devices and supplies in their efforts to treat and mitigate COVID-19 and deliver patient care overall.

Learn More:

  • Learn about our investments in Exela and VGYAAN to secure and support domestic and diverse drug supply and manufacturing.
  • See how ProvideGx is helping to tackle drug shortages and enable greater access to at-risk products.
Login Register Change Registration