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New hospital-led organisation aims to tackle drug pricing problem by manufacturing generic drugs

Published on 09/10/18 at 10:19am

Seven organisations representing around 500 US hospitals have become the governing members of a newly established initiative aimed at reducing the price of drugs. The non-profit organisation Civica Rx aims to acts as an alternative to big pharma by producing generic versions of costly drugs.

The initiative has come as the furore continues surrounding drug pricing in the United States. While Donald Trump blamed Pfizer and Others, the hospitals were later dragged into the kerfuffle as the powerful pharmaceutical trade lobby PhRMA blamed them for reaping massive profits on life saving medicines.

However in what could be seen as the hospitals pushing back in retaliation, Civica Rx threatens to significantly reduce the price of drugs. Civica Rx has chosen 14 FDA approved generic drugs as their initial focus which they aim to either directly manufacture or sub-contract the manufacture of to reputable CROs. The initiative aims to have its first products on the market by 2019.

Bringing more than 35 years of industry experience to the role, the initiative named former Amgen Chief Quality Officer Martin VanTrieste as their CEO. Furthermore the experienced industry professional has agreed to lead the organisation without compensation.

“We are creating a public asset with a mission to ensure that essential generic medications are accessible and affordable,” said VanTrieste. “The fact that a third of the country’s hospitals have either expressed interest or committed to participate with Civica Rx shows a great need for this initiative. This will improve the situation for patients by bringing much needed competition to the generic drug market.”

Notably research indicates that in many instance the price of generic drugs could be reduced dramatically which would thus save patients and healthcare systems millions each year.

Louis Goss

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