The alliance, which was formed last year by seven health systems and three philanthropic organizations, aims to tamp down drug costs by collaborating on generics.


Health system executives and policymakers alike are looking for ways to get drug prices under control.

The consortium of major health systems aims to tackle cost and shortage challenges by producing its own generics.

The number of participating hospitals has grown to about 750 in the U.S., with more expected to join.

A nonprofit alliance of health systems seeking to rein in drug costs and alleviate shortages has grown significantly in the four months since its launch.

Civica Rx announced Monday that 12 additional health systems, representing about 250 hospitals, have joined the venture as founding members, bringing the total number of participating U.S. hospitals to about 750.

The organization described its growth as momentum, with future growth expected, as policymakers and health system executives nationwide look for ways to wrangle escalating drug costs.

Three philanthropic organizations and seven major health systems—including Trinity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Providence St. Joseph Health, and SSM Health—founded Civica Rx last September, with a plan to produce generic drugs to stabilize supply and challenge manufacturers that have hiked prices sharply.

With its launch, the organization identified 14 hospital-administered generics as its initial focus. The plan is for members to drive the selection of additional drugs.

The 12 new founding members announced Monday are as follows:

  • Advocate Aurora Health
  • Allegheny Health Network
  • Baptist Health South Florida
  • Franciscan Alliance
  • Memorial Hermann Health System
  • NYU Langone Health
  • Ochsner Health System
  • Sanford Health
  • Spectrum Health
  • St. Luke’s University Health Network
  • Steward Health Care
  • UnityPoint Health

In a statement, Civica Rx CEO Martin VanTrieste expressed excitement and gratitude for the additions.

“Drug shortages have become a national crisis where patient treatments and surgeries are canceled, delayed or suboptimal,” VanTrieste. “We thank these organizations for joining us to make essential generic medicines accessible and affordable in hospitals across the country.”

The three philanthropic organizations that helped found Civica Rx are the Gary and Mary West Foundation, Laura & John Arnold Foundation, and the Peterson Center on Healthcare. The organization is collaborating also with the American Hospital Association’s Center for Health Innovation.



Hospitals eye making generics for 20 drugs that they say are overpriced or in short supply|facebook&par=sharebar

Image result for Hospitals eye making generics for 20 drugs that they say are overpriced or in short supply

Several hundred hospitals that plan to form their own generic drug company are eyeing making “about 20” pharmaceutical products whose existing versions either cost too much or are in short supply for no good reason, the CEO of one of those hospitals said Thursday.

Dr. Marc Harrison, chief of Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare, during an interview on CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” would not identify the existing drugs that the new company wants to replicate on its own, or have done on a contract basis.

Harrison said, “We think it will be early ’19 before our first drugs come to market.”

And he said the group also is hoping to possibly get additional financing from “philanthropists who are sick of this activity” by drug companies that is “creating shortages and driving prices in an irrational fashion.”

Intermountain is leading the collaboration with several other large hospital groups, Ascension, SSM Health and Trinity Health, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to form a not-for-profit drug company. The groups together represent more than 450 U.S. hospitals.

Harrison said on “Closing Bell” that the project was spurred by feedback by patients who at times were saying “they can’t get ahold of drugs or they’re way too expensive.”

“We’re experiencing that in the hospital as well, and we’ve been thinking about this for a couple of years now,” Harrison said.
“We worked hard to come up with a plan … now is the time to get to work.”

He said that one of the big problems in the pharmaceuticals market today is that some “individuals and groups have gone ahead and gotten sole control over a given drug.”

“They create shortages and drive the prices up, and our patients can’t get ahold of the drugs we need,” Harrison said.

“We as a team will do the opposite,” he said. “We’ll make sure drugs are available in good quantities and reasonable prices.”
Harrison said the members of the consortium will contribute funds to finance the new drug company.

“Over time, the business plan says we’ll get our money back,” he said.

Harrison also said that he expects the new firm to provide just a small fraction of pharmaceutical products that the hospitals have to purchase.

“We expect that the vast majority of drugs we buy will still come in the same channels we have always gotten them,” he said. “We think most pharmacies are doing a great job and drug manufacturers are doing a great job.”

“We’re only interested in those organizations that are creating shortages and driving drug prices up in an irrational fashion,” Harrison said.





Shortages of essential emergency care drugs increase, study finds

Photo by <a href=""> Summerlin Hospital </a>

At some hospitals, posters on the wall in the ED list the drugs that are in short supply or unavailable, along with recommended alternatives.