BCBSA becomes first payer to join hospital-led Civica Rx to make generics

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association headquarters building
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has teamed up with Civica Rx to make cheaper generic products, the first insurers to do so. ( Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock)

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has partnered with Civica Rx to make generic drugs in a bid to avoid high prices, and is wanting more insurers to join them.

The association—which represents 18 Blue Cross insurers—is the first payer to partner with Civica, a nonprofit consortium of hospitals that make their own generic drugs to combat shortages and price spikes.

“As [Blue Cross Blue Shield Association] companies and Civica embark on this important work, we hope others will join us to achieve the change Americans want to see in the healthcare system,” said BCBSA President and CEO Scott Serota in a statement.

The association will create a new subsidiary to acquire and develop high-cost generic drugs to offer to consumers.

RELATED: Latest generic drug deal puts Civica Rx ahead of schedule

The subsidiary will acquire and get FDA approval for the generics and Civica, along with its manufacturing partners, will make the products.

“Initially, several generic medications identified as having high potential for savings will be prioritized by the partnership and will evolve into a platform that can be used to enhance competition for additional generic drugs,” according to a release on the partnership.

Civica and BCBSA expect to have the first generic drugs available on the market by 2022.

Since its creation in 2018, Civica has 18 generic drugs in production or shipped to more than 1,200 hospitals.

Rising drug prices has been a major concern for insurers to tackle in recent years, especially as certain generic drugs with little competition have risen in price.

Avoiding pharmaceutical companies altogether has started to gain popularity as drug prices continue to rise. California recently announced a proposal to create its own generic drug label to contract with generic drug manufacturers to gain exclusive lower prices. 

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