ASHP Applauds Market-Based Solution to Address Top-Priority Patient Care Issues
Seven health systems have joined together to establish Civica Rx, a new venture to help combat drug shortages and escalating drug prices. The not-for-profit company will produce generic drugs that are in short supply or have experienced significant cost increases. The consortium, led by Catholic Health Initiatives, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Providence St. Joseph Health, SSM Health, and Trinity Health, collectively represents about 500 hospitals nationwide.
Although ASHP does not endorse or promote any specific company or product, the organization is pleased to see the emergence of new and innovative market-based approaches aimed at addressing the profound problems associated with drug shortages and escalating drug prices that are affecting so many patients.
“It is unacceptable that the United States cannot ensure a stable supply of critical lifesaving and life-sustaining products and that drug prices are continuing to spiral out of control. Finding solutions to drug shortages and escalating drug prices is among our highest priorities,” said ASHP Chief Executive Officer Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP. “When patients cannot access or afford the drugs they need, it is imperative that we all continue to work to find solutions to remove these unnecessary barriers to care.”
ASHP is a lead member of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing and continues to work closely with hospitals, payers, retailers, and consumer groups to advocate for reforms that stabilize prices and ensure patient accessibility to the medications they need.
ASHP strongly supports legislative efforts such as the CREATES Act (S. 974), which would foster more competition in the marketplace. In addition, ASHP has submitted statements for the record on congressional hearings to explore market-based solutions to increasing drug prices. Increasing competition, preventing abuses of restricted distribution channels such as REMS, promoting transparency in the marketplace, and eliminating abuses such as direct and indirect remuneration fees are among the policy options that ASHP supports. ASHP is also working with the federal government to address the high cost of drugs and submitted public comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.
ASHP will continue to work with other healthcare stakeholders and policymakers to seek solutions to drug shortages and price increases, as well as push Congress for a hearing on the issue. On September 20, 2018, ASHP will also co-convene an invitation-only summit with a focus on drug shortages as a national security priority. ASHP continues to call on the DEA to account for potential supply disruptions when setting quotas for injectable controlled drugs and will continue working closely with government agencies on solutions. Later this month ASHP will participate in a listening session pertaining to the new FDA Drug Shortages Task Force. ASHP has also been tapped by HHS to attend a listening session to engage in emergency preparedness and response activities as they relate to drug shortages.