BETTER FOR PATIENTS. According to Marc Harrison, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, one of the companies involved in Civica Rx, the project has the potential to dramatically improve the care patients receive at USA hospitals. The industry faced 183 active drug shortages by the end of 2017.
At the same time, hospitals and other providers are facing significant increases in prescription drug rates. These seven organizations, representing about 500 US hospitals, will provide leadership for the Civica Rx board of directors and much of the initial capitalization for the company. The American Hospital Association will assist the organisation by fielding enquiries from healthcare systems that are interested in participating. The systems announced their plans to form the company back in January 2018.
Prices have become as much a concern at the low-priced end of the spectrum as they have at the innovative end, as some older branded drugs that have escaped generic competition and some generics with few competitors have become increasingly expensive in defiance of normal market trends (After Turing, the industry's biggest price gougers, September 25, 2015).
Drug shortages have been widespread for more than a decade, particularly for affordable generic drugs, due to manufacturers consolidating, stopping production of low-profit medicines and having to fix manufacturing problems. We witness, on a daily basis, how shortages of essential generic medications or egregious cost increases for those same drugs affect our patients.
The non-profit company intends to become an FDA-approved manufacturer of the generic drugs and either directly manufacture the prescriptions or sub-contract manufacturing to contract manufacturing organizations.
Civica Rx has already attracted interest from more than 120 health organizations (⅓ of the country's hospitals) and tapped Martin VanTrieste, former head of biotech giant Amgen, to serve as pro-bono CEO. "This will improve the situation for patients by bringing much needed competition to the generic drug market".
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will also work in consultation with Civica Rx to address its particular needs.
Launch of Civica's first drug is set for mid to late 2019, with the intention of giving all partners equal access and pricing in a bid to stabilise the market.
Three large philanthropy organizations also pledged their support for the drug company.
And with an enormous guaranteed customer base for its products, Civica Rx will not only stabilize supplies of several key drugs, it could also make a lasting impact on the industry as a whole. The drug company plans to announce its new health system partners later this year.