Civica Rx used the six-month mark after its founding to reveal that over 800 hospitals had joined its non-profit corporation, with 20 new health system joining the organisation as founding and partnering members in recent months.
The organisation was set up to leverage the purchasing power of hospital networks to manufacture treatments that are suffering from low levels of supply.
According to CEO, Martin van Trieste, the non-profit is approaching this in three different ways:
- Working with multiple generic drug manufacturers that have US FDA approved manufacturing facilities and the capacity to produce Civica labelled generic drugs
- Developing or acquiring abbreviated new drug applications and working with contract manufacturers
- Buying or building Civica manufacturing facilities
A spokesperson for Civica told us that it has not announced any specific drugs it would focus on bringing to market, but noted that anaesthesia medications, antibiotics, pain medications, nutrition/electrolytes, and chemotherapy agents are in short supply.
On the organisation’s website, it suggests plans are to be able to bring its own products to the market during 2019.
Regarding the need for the development of such an organisation, the spokesperson told us, “When the market is served by one or two manufacturers, any disruption in the complex, long and fragile supply chain almost immediately leads to a drug shortage, which is difficult to recover from because no other manufacturer can readily produce the required inventory.”
In order to rectify the perceived fault in market dynamics, the spokesperson outlined that the organisation will bring "true competition" to the generic marketplace by focusing its efforts on providing value, in terms of quality, availability, and price.
In further commentary on the existing generic market, Civica aims to be “[a] conscience of the market, serving as a check against aggressive pricing behaviour of generic drug manufacturers”, the spokesperson said.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also recognised the challenges facing hospital networks in regard to drug supply and has put together its own task force to try to reduce the numbers of drugs in short supply.
FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb identified the lack of profit to be made on the relevant products as being a key reason to explain why competition is low and, therefore, manufacturing issues are able to dramatically interrupt supply – a non-profit organisation could be one method to circumvent this issue.