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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Hospitals are fed up with drug companies, so they’re starting their own

Carolyn Johnson
The Washington Post
Originally posted September 6, 2018

A group of major American hospitals, battered by price spikes on old drugs and long-lasting shortages of critical medicines, has launched a mission-driven, not-for-profit generic drug company, Civica Rx, to take some control over the drug supply.

Backed by seven large health systems and three philanthropic groups, the new venture will be led by an industry insider who refuses to draw a salary. The company will focus initially on establishing price transparency and stable supplies for 14 generic drugs used in hospitals, without pressure from shareholders to issue dividends or push a stock price higher.

“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,” said Dan Liljenquist, chair of Civica Rx and chief strategy officer at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah.

The consortium, which includes health systems such as the Mayo Clinic and HCA Healthcare, collectively represents about 500 hospitals. Liljenquist said that the initial governing members have already committed $100 million to the effort. The business model will ultimately rely on the long-term contracts that member health care organizations agree to — a commitment to buy a fixed portion of their drug volume from Civica.

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