Health

UnityPoint Health joins generic drug not-for-profit

Health system joins 11 other founding members of Civica Rx

A prescription being filled. (Stephen Mally/Freelance)
A prescription being filled. (Stephen Mally/Freelance)

Iowa-based health care system UnityPoint Health is among a dozen health care organizations nationwide that have invested in a generic drug manufacturer that was created in September 2018 with the goal to stabilize the supply of medications that have fallen into chronic shortages.

Founding member systems represent around 250 hospitals across the country.

As a founding member, UnityPoint Health — the $4 billion system in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin — will purchase Civica Rx products for initial use in its hospitals, spokeswoman Heather Nahas said.

In addition, the health system “has invested financially in Civica Rx and will participate on its drug selection and medical advisory committees to help drive decisions that ensure medications most essential to patient care are accessible,” Nahas added.

“Drug shortages and the resulting price increases are becoming increasingly challenging for hospitals, including ours, and we believe our membership with Civica is another way we can improve the quality, safety and cost of care for the people and communities we serve,” said West Des Moines-based Kent Lehr, vice president of strategy and business development at UnityPoint Health, in a statement.

Civica Rx has identified 14 hospital-administered drugs in its initial line of products, expected to be released sometime this year, according to a news release from the company.

The company is working toward becoming a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved manufacturer. It either will directly manufacturer generic medications, or subcontract manufacturing to other companies.

Civica Rx, headquartered in Utah, was established by three philanthropies — the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Gary and Mary West Foundation.

Founding members also include:

• Advocate Aurora Health

• Allegheny Health Network

• Baptist Health South Florida

• Franciscan Alliance

• Memorial Hermann Health System

• NYU Langone Health

• Ochsner Health System

• Sanford Health

• Spectrum Health

• St. Luke’s University Health Network

• Steward Health Care

Governing members of Civica Rx are:

• Mayo Clinic

• Catholic Health Initiatives

• HCA Healthcare

• Intermountain Healthcare

• Providence St. Joseph Health

• SSM Health

• Trinity Health.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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