- Provider-led generic drug company Civica Rx is partnering with Vizient to help anticipate gaps in drug availability and affordability, the two companies announced Monday.
- Vizient will analyze purchasing patterns and hospital needs through its data and analytic offerings to reduce drug shortages for Civica's 900-plus member hospitals.
- "The more people collaborating to solve the nation's drug shortage problem the better," Civica CEO Martin VanTrieste said. Salt Lake City-based Civica is associated with more than 27% of the country's total hospital beds (or 180,000 U.S. hospital beds) and has grown rapidly since its September 2018 founding.
Drug shortages are a recurring problem for the healthcare industry. Some 90% of hospitals report they've had to find alternative therapies due to drug shortages and hiked prices, according to the American Hospital Association.
Currently, approximately 230 drugs are in short supply in the U.S., according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, ranging from common antibiotics to bags of saline solution.
Civica's strategy to reduce generic drug shortages is threefold: increase competition for older generic drugs, provide financial stability on fluctuating drug prices to its members, and provide long-term volume certainty for manufacturers. The company eventually plans to build its own manufacturing site in the U.S.
In May, the company announced its first supplier: Xellia Pharmaceuticals, based in Copenhagen, which will produce antibiotics for Civica's member hospitals including vancomycin and daptomycin, common medications used to treat life-threatening infections in the intestines and bloodstream.
Civica has pledged to make 14 different drugs in 2019.
Vizient, which is member-owned, analyzes pharmacy data going back years in order to predict future shortages and price hikes.
"On any given day, I can tell you what 3,000 hospitals tried to order and what they were successful in ordering," Vizient's, Dan Kistner, SVP of pharmacy services at Irving, Texas-based Vizient told Healthcare Dive — the "first indicator" of future supply.
Another Vizient product, private label pharmacy program Novaplus, gives member organizations access to over 760 unique drugs — including most of the drugs regularly included on the FDA drug shortages list, the company said. Member systems include academic medical centers, pediatric facilities, integrated healthcare delivery networks and more.
Civica's governing board is studded with a who's who of healthcare stakeholders, including Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, HCA Healthcare, Providence St. Joseph Health and Trinity Health.