CivicaScript bringing its first low-cost generic to market

CivicaScript's first product is hitting the market.

The public benefits company and sister to Civica Rx is making its first generic available: 250-mg abiraterone acetate tablets. The drug is used in combination with the steroid medication prednisone as a treatment for prostate cancer that has spread to other parts in the body.

CivicaScript will make the drug available to pharmacies at $160 per bottle of 120 tablets, a typical one-month supply. The company suggests pharmacies sell it to patients at no more than $171 for each bottle. This price is about $3,000 less per month than the average cost for people enrolled in Medicare Part D, which is the largest portion of patients with this type of cancer.

Using CivicaScript's abiraterone will lead to significant savings for patients both in the deductible phase and in the Part D "donut hole," where they face the highest out-of-pocket costs, the company said in an announcement (PDF).

“This is a proud day for CivicaScript as we advance our mission to make generic medicines affordable and available to everyone,” said CivicaScript President Gina Guinasso in a statement. “I want to thank our members for their active participation in our drug-selection process, which ensures we are focusing on the right medications at the right time, and where we believe we can have immediate impact on people’s lives.”

CivicaScript's abiraterone will be made available initially through specialty pharmacy Lumicera Health Services, which focuses on therapies for chronic and serious conditions, as well as through founding provider Intermountain Healthcare. As more pharmacies come on board, they will be added to CivicaScript's site.

The company, which was co-founded in 2020 by Civica, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and 18 independent Blues plans, chose abiraterone as a priority based on a significant patient need coupled with a high list price.

Its overall goal is to identify high-cost generics and then team with manufacturers to bring them market at a significantly lower cost. While generic drugs cost less than brand-name products, some higher-cost products lack competition to drive down prices, Civica said.

CivicaScript's strategy in choosing drugs to focus on both specialty and traditional medications with the highest potential for cost savings. It is initially targeting six to 10 medications where the market competition has not been enough to lower prices.

CivicaScript also partners with other payers, pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacies to pass the savings on to patients.

“We’re proud the first lower-cost generic drug of our partnership with CivicaScript is entering the market,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BCBSA. “This is an important milestone in our shared commitment to help make prescription drugs more affordable for millions of Americans. No one should have to face breaking the bank from buying a life-saving medication.”