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article imageHospitals band together and launch company to make generic drugs

By Karen Graham     Sep 6, 2018 in Business
Salt Lake City - On Thursday, seven health care systems and three philanthropic groups announced the formation of their own generic drug company, Civica Rx, to tackle chronic shortages and high prices.
In January, it was announced that five healthcare systems were launching a not-for-profit generic drug company. That company now has a name, Civica Rx.
Originally, there were five hospital groups, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Intermountain Healthcare, Ascension, SSM Health and Trinity Health. Since January, that group has now expanded to seven health systems and three philanthropic groups. In all, the seven hospital groups represent about 500 hospitals.
According to the press release, “The company will focus initially on establishing price transparency and stable supplies for 14 generic drugs used in hospitals, without pressure from shareholders to issue dividends or push a stock price higher.”
Board chairman Dan Liljenquist said. “The mission of Civica is to make sure these drugs remain in the public domain, that they’re available and affordable to everyone," reports the Associated Press.
A simple  but essential drug is in short supply.
A simple, but essential drug is in short supply.
According to Liljenquist, the launching members have already committed $100 million to the project. The approach will be to rely on signed long-term contracts from member organizations stating they will buy a fixed percentage of their drug volume from Civica Rx.
Dr. Marc Harrison, president, and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, a system of 22 hospitals based in Salt Lake City said that at Intermountain, they deal with as many as 100 drug shortages every day, and most of them are generics.
"The impact on patient care, in terms of trying to find alternatives and scurrying around and trying to find necessary drugs, is incredibly time-consuming and disconcerting."
Civica will be based in the Salt Lake City area and plans on making some of the generics themselves, while others will be farmed out to other companies to produce. Civica plans on getting its first medicines on the market by mid- to late 2019.
Chief executive of the not-for-profit company will be Martin VanTrieste, the retired head of manufacturing quality at biotech drugmaker Amgen.
More about generic prescription drugs, Civica Rx, drug shortage, drug pricing, Healthcare
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