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SSM Health Medical Minute – Civica Rx is combatting life-saving generic drug shortages

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ST. LOUIS - Civica Rx, the initiative previously known as Project Rx, is the name of a new not-for-profit generic drug company that will help patients by addressing shortages and high prices of lifesaving medications. Locally, SSM Health St. Clare Hospital is the first in the St. Louis-area to join in the initiative.

“What Civica has done for us is actually provide a pipeline for these medications where we can more easily obtain them instead of spending hours to days to trying to find alternatives or actually find the product,” said Kristina Bryowsky, Director of Pharmacy at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital.

Civica Rx has identified 14 hospital-administered generic drugs as the initial focus of the company’s efforts. It will be an FDA approved manufacturer and will either directly manufacture generic drugs or sub-contract manufacturing to reputable contract manufacturing organizations.

Before Civica Rx, some businesses in the marketplace could not always guarantee a drug delivery, “We get a lot of promises that we think it's going to be released on this day, we believe the product should arrive at the warehouse by this day, but now with Civica we won't have to worry about that if they say it's going to be there we'll have it."

Civica Rx will first seek to stabilize the supply of essential generic medications administered in hospitals, many of which have fallen into chronic shortage situations, putting patients at risk. The initiative will also result in lower costs and more predictable supplies of essential generic medicines, helping ensure that patients and their needs come first in the generic drug marketplace.

Research into the actual costs of manufacturing and distributing generic drugs suggests that, in many instances, prices for generic drugs used in hospitals can be reduced to a fraction of their current costs. This can save patients, and the healthcare systems that care for them, hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

"I don't think the prices are going to go up with Civica for sure whether or not they'll be dramatic decreases I don't know. What we've already seen a little bit in the market is the companies that have the products we already are getting from Civica have dropped their prices to be more competitive."

To learn more about Civica Rx at SSM Health, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Wednesday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.​

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