250 hospitals have have joined a consortium to manufacture their own generic drugs, in order to deal with the price gouging and shortages:
Hospitals have a creative plan to tackle the high price and frequent shortages of generic drugs.
The nonprofit company, dubbed Civica Rx, was first announced in early 2018, and has gained a lot of attention from other hospitals around the US who are interested in being a part of the venture.
On Monday, the organization said that another 12 health systems had joined its ranks, including Illinois and Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health, Michigan’s Spectrum Health, and NYU Langone Health. Together, they make add another 250 hospitals to the venture.
They join a slew of hospitals, including Catholic Health Initiatives, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, and Providence St. Joseph Health that serve as governing members. The Department of Veterans Affairs is also consulting with Civica to make sure the agency is getting what it needs for patients.
To start, Civica will focus on making 14 drugs that are used in hospitals, typically injectable drugs. Those are expected to come in 2019. The company’s priorities include making essential medicines that have been on the FDA drug shortage list, and taking on decades-old drugs that have artificially higher prices because they don’t face any competition.
For years, health systems have been on the hook for skyrocketing drug prices for injections or drugs delivered through IV solutions. And as of Thursday, there were 205 drugs currently facing shortages, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Those shortages include everything from bags of saline solution to common antibiotics and a type of epidural used for pregnant women during childbirth.
This is an indication of a profoundly broken system.
One could argue that this in fact is a vindication of a market approach, in the long run. I'd remark that one shouldn't ponder this too much, it is a challenge preconceptions.
It is certainly not a bad thing.