Salt Lake City–Civica Rx, the initiative previously known as Project Rx, is the name of a new not-for-profit generic drug company that will help patients by addressing shortages and high prices of lifesaving medications. Since the initiative was announced in January 2018, more than 120 health organizations representing about a third of the nation’s hospitals have contacted Civica Rx and expressed a commitment or interest in participating with the new company. The company is organized as a not-for-profit corporation and will be headquartered in Utah in the Salt Lake City area.
Initial governing members of Civica Rx will include Catholic Health Initiatives, HCA Healthcare (operates nine hospitals in Utah as Mountainstar), Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Providence St. Joseph Health, SSM Health, and Trinity Health. These seven organizations, representing about 500 U.S. hospitals, will each provide leadership for the Civica Rx Board of Directors and will provide much of the initial capitalization for the company. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will also work in consultation with Civica Rx to address its particular needs. Other health systems participating with Civica Rx will be announced later this year.
Three major philanthropies will also join Civica Rx as governing members: the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare, and the Gary and Mary West Foundation. The engagement of philanthropic members is intended to further support and safeguard the company’s not-for-profit, social welfare mission.
Civica Rx has identified 14 hospital-administered generic drugs as the initial focus of the company’s efforts. It will be an FDA approved manufacturer and will either directly manufacture generic drugs or sub-contract manufacturing to reputable contract manufacturing organizations.
Martin VanTrieste, former chief quality officer for Amgen, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has been named CEO of Civica Rx. VanTrieste has more than 35 years of experience in pharmaceuticals and was ranked No. 2 on the 2018Medicine Maker Power List of Industry Influencers. VanTrieste has agreed to lead Civica Rx without compensation.
“We are creating a public asset with a mission to ensure that essential generic medications are accessible and affordable,” said Mr. 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.”
Civica Rx will first seek to stabilize the supply of essential generic medications administered in hospitals, many of which have fallen into chronic shortage situations, putting patients at risk. The initiative will also result in lower costs and more predictable supplies of essential generic medicines, helping ensure that patients and their needs come first in the generic drug marketplace. Civica Rx expects to have its first products on the market as early as 2019.
Research into the actual costs of manufacturing and distributing generic drugs suggests that, in many instances, prices for generic drugs used in hospitals can be reduced to a fraction of their current costs. This can save patients, and the health care systems that care for them, hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Civica Rx is collaborating with the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) newly formed AHA Center for Health Innovation to address inquiries about the initiative. Health systems and hospitals may call 800-242-4677 with questions, or visitwww.civicarx.org for information.