News

St. Luke’s Joins Civica Rx as Founding Member to Counter Pharma Shortages and Rising Prices
January 07, 2019

Salt Lake City, UT, January 7, 2019 – Civica Rx has announced that 12 health systems, including St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem, Pa., have joined the new not-for-profit generic drug company as founding members. When combined with hospitals represented by the initial governing members of Civica Rx, about 750 U.S. hospitals have joined the mission-driven venture so far, with many more health systems expressing interest.

Civica Rx is working towards becoming an FDA approved manufacturer and will either directly manufacture generic drugs or sub-contract manufacturing to trusted supply partners.

“On behalf of our patient base, St. Luke’s is helping to launch the Civica Rx initiative to proactively address pharmaceutical shortages and escalating pharmaceutical prices,” St. Luke’s Chief Operating Officer Joel Fagerstrom said. “This will give hospitals and patients reliable access to affordable life-saving medications.”

Civica Rx was established in 2018 by three philanthropies and seven leading health systems that experience first-hand the impact of drug shortages, which have become all too common and affect all aspects of the health care delivery system. 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. 

Civica Rx members drive drug selection decisions to ensure Civica Rx manufactures the medications that are most essential to patient care. In addition to St. Luke’s, the 12 new founding members 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
  • Steward Health Care
  • UnityPoint Health

“We are thrilled to welcome these highly-regarded health systems 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.”

Civica Rx expects to bring over 14 hospital-administered generic drugs to hospitals and health care systems in 2019 as the initial focus of the company’s efforts, with many additional medications prioritized by the healthcare systems as the next phase of focus. 

These founding members join the previously announced governing members of Civica Rx, which include Catholic Health Initiatives, the Gary and Mary West Foundation, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Laura & John Arnold Foundation, Mayo Clinic, the Peterson Center on Healthcare, Providence St. Joseph Health, SSM Health, and Trinity Health. 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.

About Civica Rx

Civica Rx was established by philanthropies and leading health systems in the U.S. to ensure essential generic medicines are consistently accessible and affordable within a robust and reliable supply chain. Civica Rx, a not-for-profit, non-stock generic drug manufacturing company, acts in the best interest of patients who are at risk during drug shortages that are created by inconsistent, unpredictable, and often unstable market dynamics. As part of Civica Rx’s business model, health systems and philanthropy partners determine the drugs that Civica Rx manufactures based largely on the most urgent need. The process for drug selection goes through a newly created Civica Rx Drug Selection Advisory Committee, with medications to manufacture ultimately approved by Civica Rx’s governing board.

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  In 2018, St. Luke’s was named a Top Hospital in the Teaching Hospital category by the Leapfrog Group.  It has repeatedly earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) – six times total and four years in a row including 2018.  It has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.