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Hospital groups start company Civica RX to combat drug prices, shortages

Posted at 4:00 PM, Sep 06, 2018

If you take any medication, you know drug prices can be high.  But there could soon be a way to get medication at a lower price, through a hospital.

A new company called Civica RX was started by several major hospital groups that all hope to tackle the drug shortages in hospitals and the high drug prices patients are paying.   

Kevin Flynn with the nonprofit group Health Advocates says this sounds like a great plan, but there could be some side effects.   

“The question is, are these health systems trying to fix a problem, being access to drugs and low costs, or are they looking at it more as a stepping stone?"  

Flynn is cautiously optimistic about the startup, but he says he wouldn't be surprised if the hospitals were doing this to make money and compete with other manufactures.   

Civica RX is not disclosing the drugs' names.  However, the company did say they include a mix of generic pills, patches and injectable drugs for treating infections, pain and heart conditions.

"We need to make sure these medications are quality, not just some substandard remedy for the situation," says Flynn.  

Civica RX says it plans to create a reliable supply for generic drugs to 500 hospitals and reduce prices by 20 percent. The company hopes to have its first medication out by next year.   

"I'd like to be optimistic, and as a health system, they are altruistic and do what's best for the patient,” says Flynn. “But often, we have to wait and see what happens."