Civica Rx goes where generics companies fear to tread

Intermountain Healthcare CEO Marc Harrison Civica Rx CEO Martin Van Trieste and Intermountain Chief Strategy Officer Dan Liljenquist introduced the drug manufacturing company Civica Rx

Intermountain Healthcare CEO Marc Harrison Civica Rx CEO Martin Van Trieste and Intermountain Chief Strategy Officer Dan Liljenquist introduced the drug manufacturing company Civica Rx

The company also will provide generic medications to the retail market, offering an affordable alternative to products from incumbent generic drug companies.

The foundations join seven large US hospital systems as governing members of Civica Rx.

To this end, Civica plans on giving partner organisations equal access to drugs it manufactures at an equal price, with no preference for academic medical centres over isolated rural hospitals, he says. The shortage of drugs may have recently peaked, according to Vizient's 2018 Drug Price Forecast, but the total number of drug shortages is not trending down.

Price changes force hospitals to pay premiums of as much as 50% for common drugs, diverting lifesaving resources toward tracking drug supplies and predicting what the f*ck drugmakers will do next.

At the same time, hospitals and other providers are facing significant increases in prescription drug rates. We witness, on a daily basis, how shortages of essential generic medications or egregious cost increases for those same drugs affect our patients. Dan Liljenquist, vice-president of the enterprise initiative office at the Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare, told Vantage that a unanimous vote of its members would be necessary to convert Civica from non-profit to profit-making status. Almost all healthcare executives (96 percent) reported an increase in inpatient drug spending in 2017, and the American Hospital Association estimated that increase to be about 23 percent between 2013 and 2015.


"The formation of Civica Rx is a direct challenge to generic drug companies who have sharply and unfairly raised prices on many off-patent drugs over the last several years", said Shelley Lyford, president and chief executive officer of the Gary and Mary West Foundation.

According to their press release, more than 120 other health organizations representing one-third of all United States hospitals have also expressed interest in joining or otherwise supporting Civica Rx. "This will improve the situation for patients by bringing much needed competition to the generic drug market".

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.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will also work in consultation with Civica Rx to address its particular needs.

Three large philanthropy organizations also pledged their support for the drug company. While Civica is not disclosing what it intends to produce, drugs like anaesthetics, antibiotics and pain-relievers are viewed as essential by healthcare practitioners but represent older products that big generics companies might consider unprofitable.

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