- Premier, the country's largest group purchasing organization, has announced a partnership with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals to offer seven drugs in short supply to providers.
- The agreement is part of Premier's ProvideGx program and will focus mostly on pre-filled syringes for emergency use, according to a Tuesday statement. Premier didn’t release financial details, but said the deal won't materially affect its fiscal year 2020 results.
- Amphastar said it's bringing on new manufacturing capacity by the end of the year that will help it meet the demand for drugs experiencing supply shortages. The agreement with ProvideGx, which works with a network of about 4,000 hospitals and health systems, covers phytonadione injection and pre-filled syringes of calcium chloride, epinephrine, sodium bicarbonate, atropine sulfate, dextrose and lidocaine.
The Premier-Amphastar agreement is another example of how healthcare companies are searching for new ways to address drug shortages. About 113 medicines are either not readily available at U.S. hospitals or at risk of becoming in short supply, Premier said.
Also this week, Premier said ProvideGx, working with Exela Pharma Sciences, has put an end to a multiyear national shortage of cysteine hydrochloride injection, which is used for patients who need parenteral nutrition.
"We hope to replicate this success for many other drugs currently in shortage," Premier President Michael Alkire said in the company’s statement. More than 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems aggregate under Premier to leverage their volume to negotiate lower prices with manufacturers and other vendors.
Exela is also working with Civica Rx, a group of health systems that joined together to make generic drugs in a bid to address shortages and rising costs. Under that agreement, Exela will supply member hospitals with sodium bicarbonate.
The ProvideGx program has provided reliable supplies of scarce drugs, including metoprolol, sodium bicarbonate, and hydromorphone, according to Premier. The program plans to introduce further drugs from a list of more than 60 targets in coming months, Premier said.
Several of the medicines for pre-filled syringes have been in short supply for years and not available at all in some parts of the country, Alkire said.