Ochsner Health System Becomes Founding Member of National Coalition to Reduce Chronic Drug Shortage

New non-profit generic drug company, Civica Rx, represents nearly 800 hospitals across the U.S.

NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health System has teamed up with 11 health systems as founding members of Civica Rx, a new not-for-profit generic drug company. Together with its initial governing members, Civica Rx represents approximately 750 hospitals across the United States whose focus is to address national drug shortages and high prices of life-saving medications.

Established in September 2018, Civica Rx was originally comprised of three philanthropies and seven leading health systems who experienced first-hand the impact of drug shortages – a quickly rising issue that affects all aspects of the healthcare delivery system.

Ochsner and its patients have been affected in several of these situations, including shortages of specific local anesthetics required for common surgical procedures, non-opioid pain management medications and some IV antibiotics used to treat severe infections.

The highly-collaborative initiative will result in lower costs and more predictable supplies of many medicines, helping ensure that patients and their needs come first in the generic drug marketplace.

“Overall, pharmaceutical costs are a major issue in healthcare today, with no price control and constant drug shortages. With major market shifts across the industry, this has created an unsustainable situation,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “Ochsner works with like-minded organizations to develop collaborative programs, like Civica RX, to improve the delivery of healthcare services. We believe that providing high quality, coordinated care and access to prescriptions at a lower cost is the right thing to do for patients. We are relentless in our effort to change and save lives.”

“We are thrilled to welcome highly-regarded health systems, such as Ochsner, to Civica as founding members,” said Martin VanTrieste, CEO of Civica Rx.  “Drug shortages have become a national crisis where patient treatments and surgeries are canceled, delayed or suboptimal. We thank these organizations for joining us to make essential generic medicines accessible and affordable in hospitals across the country.”

The initial focus of Civica Rx is to bring more than 14 hospital-administered generic drugs to hospitals and healthcare systems in 2019, with many additional medications prioritized by the healthcare systems as the next phase of focus for the company. Civica Rx is working towards becoming a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved manufacturer and will either directly manufacture generic drugs or sub-contract manufacturing to trusted supply partners.

Civica Rx members drive drug selection decisions to ensure Civica Rx manufactures the medications that are most essential to patient care.

Initial governing members of Civica Rx include:

  • Catholic Health Initiatives (Colo.)
  • Gary and Mary West Foundation (Calif.)
  • HCA Healthcare (Tenn.)
  • Intermountain Healthcare (Utah)
  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Mayo Clinic (Minn.)
  • Peterson Center on Healthcare (N.Y.)
  • Providence St. Joseph Health (Wash.)
  • SSM Health (Mo.)
  • Trinity Health (Mich.)

The 12 new founding members include:

  • Advocate Aurora Health (Ill. &Wis.)
  • Allegheny Health Network (Pa.)
  • Baptist Health South Florida (Fla.)
  • Franciscan Alliance (Ind.)
  • Memorial Hermann Health System (Texas)
  • NYU Langone (N.Y.)
  • Ochsner Health System (La.)
  • Sanford Health (S.D)
  • St. Luke’s University Health Network (Penn.)
  • Spectrum Health (Mich.)
  • Steward Health Care (Texas)
  • Unitypoint Health (Iowa)

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 visit www.civicarx.org for information.

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About Ochsner Health System

Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, and more than 200 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 60 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs nearly 25,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Civica Rx

Civica Rx was established by philanthropies and leading health systems in the U.S. to ensure essential generic medicines are consistently accessible and affordable within a robust and reliable supply chain. Civica Rx, a not-for-profit, non-stock generic drug manufacturing company, acts in the best interest of patients who are at risk during drug shortages that are created by inconsistent, unpredictable, and often unstable market dynamics. As part of Civica Rx’s business model, health systems and philanthropy partners determine the drugs that Civica Rx manufactures based largely on the most urgent need. The process for drug selection goes through a newly created Civica Rx Drug Selection Advisory Committee, with medications to manufacture ultimately approved by Civica Rx’s governing board.

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