Ochsner Health President and CEO Warner Thomas joins Acadiana's Morning News with Rob Kirkpatrick and Bernadette Lee.

NEW ORLEANS – Ochsner Health System has teamed up with 11 health systems as founding members of Civica Rx, a new not-for-profit generic drug company. Together with its initial governing members, Civica Rx represents approximately 750 hospitals across the United States whose focus is to address national drug shortages and high prices of life-saving medications.
 
Established in September 2018, Civica Rx was originally comprised of three philanthropies and seven leading health systems who experienced first-hand the impact of drug shortages – a quickly rising issue that affects all aspects of the healthcare delivery system.
 
Ochsner and its patients have been affected in several of these situations, including shortages of specific local anesthetics required for common surgical procedures, non-opioid pain management medications and some IV antibiotics used to treat severe infections.
 
The highly-collaborative initiative will result in lower costs and more predictable supplies of many medicines, helping ensure that patients and their needs come first in the generic drug marketplace.
 
“Overall, pharmaceutical costs are a major issue in healthcare today, with no price control and constant drug shortages. With major market shifts across the industry, this has created an unsustainable situation,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “Ochsner works with like-minded organizations to develop collaborative programs, like Civica RX, to improve the delivery of healthcare services. We believe that providing high quality, coordinated care and access to prescriptions at a lower cost is the right thing to do for patients. We are relentless in our effort to change and save lives.”
 
“We are thrilled to welcome highly-regarded health systems, such as Ochsner, to Civica as founding members,” said Martin VanTrieste, CEO of Civica Rx.  “Drug shortages have become a national crisis where patient treatments and surgeries are canceled, delayed or suboptimal. We thank these organizations for joining us to make essential generic medicines accessible and affordable in hospitals across the country.”
 
The initial focus of Civica Rx is to bring more than 14 hospital-administered generic drugs to hospitals and healthcare systems in 2019, with many additional medications prioritized by the healthcare systems as the next phase of focus for the company. Civica Rx is working towards becoming a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved manufacturer and will either directly manufacture generic drugs or sub-contract manufacturing to trusted supply partners.
 
Civica Rx members drive drug selection decisions to ensure Civica Rx manufactures the medications that are most essential to patient care.
 
Initial governing members of Civica Rx include:
  • Catholic Health Initiatives (Colo.)
  • Gary and Mary West Foundation (Calif.)
  • HCA Healthcare (Tenn.)
  • Intermountain Healthcare (Utah)
  • Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • Mayo Clinic (Minn.)
  • Peterson Center on Healthcare (N.Y.)
  • Providence St. Joseph Health (Wash.)
  • SSM Health (Mo.)
  • Trinity Health (Mich.)
 
The 12 new founding members include:
  • Advocate Aurora Health (Ill. &Wis.)
  • Allegheny Health Network (Pa.)
  • Baptist Health South Florida (Fla.)
  • Franciscan Alliance (Ind.)
  • Memorial Hermann Health System (Texas)
  • NYU Langone (N.Y.)
  • Ochsner Health System (La.)
  • Sanford Health (S.D)
  • St. Luke’s University Health Network (Penn.)
  • Spectrum Health (Mich.)
  • Steward Health Care (Texas)
  • Unitypoint Health (Iowa)
 
Civica Rx is collaborating with the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) newly formed AHA Center for Health Innovation to address inquiries about the initiative. Health systems and hospitals may call 800-242-4677 with questions or visit www.civicarx.org for information.
 
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