By Samantha Liss
Civica Rx and Exela Pharma Sciences inked a long-term deal in which Exela will manufacture and supply hospitals with sodium bicarbonate, a drug the companies say is in short supply in U.S. hospitals.
Civica, a coalition of nonprofit providers including Intermountain, will then supply its member hospitals with the drug, which some say they’ve had to ration because of ongoing shortages.
Member hospitals can expect deliveries this year. About 39 health systems are Civica members, representing more than 1,000 hospitals across the country.
Civica Rx is making good on its promises to procure drugs that are in short supply at its member hospitals.
Earlier this summer, the generic drug firm sealed a deal with London-based Hikima Pharmaceuticals to manufacture 14 injectable drugs also in low supply at hospitals.
Its first deal was announced in May with Xellia Pharmaceuticals agreeing to manufacture essential antibiotics.
The sodium bicarbonate and 14 injectable drugs are all expected to make their way to member hospitals by the end of the year.
“Sodium bicarbonate is a medicine that is a staple on hospital crash carts and often used for emergency resuscitations. No hospital or patient should ever have to go without it,” Martin VanTrieste, CEO of Civica Rx, said in a statement on Tuesday.
Fed up with the high-cost of drugs and ongoing shortages, Utah-based Intermountain Health and other nonprofit systems joined forces to launch their own drug manufacturing company.
Civica’s push to secure new drugs to manufacture coincides with growing frustration with the price of pharmaceutical drugs, particularly specialty drugs administered in hospitals.
The high price of drugs has received continued scrutiny from lawmakers and backlash from patients as some have been forced to ration insulin with deadly consequences.
The White House previously unveiled its own plan to target high drug prices, which included an attempt to force drugmakers to disclose drug prices in TV ads, a move that was later shot down by the courts.