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All across the United States, medical professionals find themselves in a tight spot. See, critical medications are in short supply, leaving hospitals scrambling to pay exorbitant prices for drugs that they have to painstakingly track down, or identify (possibly inferior) alternatives. Now, a group of major American hospitals is fighting back against the pharmaceutical manufacturers causing many of these issues. They’ve banded together to form Civica Rx, a nonprofit organization that will manufacture its own supply of 14 as-yet-unnamed generic drugs.
Martin VanTrieste, chief executive of Civica, worked in the traditional pharmaceutical industry for decades — most recently at biotech giant Amgen — and said that he came out of retirement to take on the role with two requirements: He’d work without pay, and the company had to remain focused on patients. The question of how big the company might grow, he said, depends on how the market reacts.
Civica Rx’s governing members have already pledged $100 million to launch the company. In total, it represents about 500 hospitals, which will each agree to purchase a certain amount of their medications from Civica Rx. Because Civica Rx is a nonprofit (and so not beholden to shareholders), it can sell these medications without worrying about making the most money possible. “We’re trying to do the right thing — create a first-of-its-kind societal asset with one mission: to make sure essential generic medicines are affordable and available to everyone,” Dan Liljenquist
There are risks to the idea. Civica’s leaders have discussed the possibility that other companies that make the generic drugs will temporarily cut their prices in an effort to maintain market share. But Civica leaders say the model of guaranteeing a steady supply at a fair, transparent price will be attractive to hospitals. Since the effort was first outlined in January, health organizations that represent a third of the nation’s hospitals have expressed interest.
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 U.S. hospitals. “Every day at Intermountain, we manage more than 100 drug shortages, and most of them are generics,” he told NPR. “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.” It’s not clear yet whether this will actually make things cheaper for patients, especially those without insurance. But with more drugs on hand, hospitals will certainly have it easier. The first Civica Rx medication could be ready to hit the market as soon as 2019.
originally posted by: rickymouse
This probably will not lead to cheaper meds for us. It will allow Mayo and other hospitals to recoup some of their costs from owning shares in the companies making the drugs though, so the profit is fed right back into their pocketbooks with no savings necessarily for the patient. This will increase the money they can pay to their management and maybe allow them to upgrade some equipment without raising the price since their reimbursement is set by what insurances allow. The insurances will pay the going rate for meds used by the hospital. Don't plan on your costs going down for meds, they will not compete with the big Pharma companies.