Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City has announced a collaboration with Ascension Health, SSM Health, and Trinity Health to establish a nonprofit drug company that will work to address the shortages and high cost of lifesaving generic medications.
In consultation and collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the new nonprofit, with FDA approval, will either manufacture the drugs itself or sub-contract that work to reputable manufacturing organizations, providing patients with an affordable alternative to products from generic drug companies whose "capricious and unfair pricing practices are damaging the generic drug market and hurting consumers." The nonprofit also will work to stabilize the supply of essential generic medications administered in hospitals, many of which are chronically short of such drugs. The new initiative is expected to result in lower costs and more predictable supplies of essential generic medicines, helping ensure that the needs of patients come first in the generic drug marketplace.
The five groups in the collaboration represent more than four hundred and fifty hospitals around the country. Other health systems are expected to join the initiative, which, according to participants, will be "game-changing."
"It's an ambitious plan," said Intermountain Healthcare president and CEO Marc Harrison, "but healthcare systems are in the best position to fix the problems in the generic drug market. We witness on a daily basis how shortages of essential generic medications or egregious cost increases for those same drugs affect our patients. We are confident we can improve the situation for our patients by bringing much needed competition to the generic drug market."