Civica Rx, Vizient team up to use analytics to identify, reduce drug shortages

Civica Rx, the generic drug company started by a consortium of hospitals last year, is collaborating with health consulting group Vizient to use analytics to reduce drug shortages and improve affordability.

Civica Rx launched in January 2018 with the mission of addressing drug shortages and high prices and an initial focus on 14 essential generic medications this year. As part of the new partnership, Vizient will provide insights into purchasing patterns and provider needs through its analytics and data capabilities and help Civica anticipate gaps in drug availability and affordability. 

“Vizient fully agrees with and embraces Civica’s mission to ensure that essential generic medications are available and affordable to everyone. It really is true that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats,'" Dan Kistner, Pharm.D., senior vice president of pharmacy services at Vizient, told FierceHealthcare.

Vizient's membership includes academic medical centers, pediatric facilities, community hospitals, integrated healthcare delivery networks and non-acute healthcare providers, and the company's pharmacy program collects purchase data from more than 60% of healthcare systems in the U.S., Kistner said.

RELATED: Civica Rx inks first generics deal in bid to fight hospital drug shortages

"We can say, in a moment, what was bought yesterday or what health systems tried to purchase. It's an accurate window into what’s going on in the healthcare environment. What drugs are short today, what drugs were short yesterday and what drugs have been short for a year? We’ve got the data and insights there," Kistner said.

Vizient also can provide insight into the number of manufacturers of a particular product to identify potential drug shortages. "We want to help Civica bring new suppliers and products to the market and we want to make sure they have insight into what drugs can truly make an impact on the hospitals in this country," he said.

In March, Civica announced its first deal to combat hospital drug shortages, inking a five-year deal with Copenhagen-based Xellia Pharmaceuticals to produce two commonly used antibiotics. Civica Rx officials said they expect to make the broad-spectrum antibiotics vancomycin and daptomycin directly available to Civica Rx's member hospitals by the third quarter of this year. “Our experience tells us that there are many different reasons for drug shortages—so it will take a wide variety of solutions to fully solve the problems. We look forward to working with Civica to help reduce and eventually eliminate drug shortages,” Kistner said.  

RELATED: Civica Rx's first CEO, Martin VanTrieste, talks about the company's ambitions for 2019 and beyond

When the deal with Xellia Pharmaceuticals was announced last month, Civica CEO Martin VanTrieste said other activities are underway to build more redundancies and competition in the supply chain, part of the original plan articulated by Civica.

"We are negotiating with a bunch of other suppliers to do the same thing that we did with Xellia in a partnership arrangement. But we are also simultaneously developing our own data sets to file our own abbreviated new drug applications with the FDA to get our own approval to use contract manufacturers," VanTrieste said. "At the same time, we're looking at how to buy or build our own manufacturing facilities. We're already in those discussions with those individuals."

Vizient says it currently uses its analytics and data insights in combination with its private label Novaplus pharmacy program to serve the needs of its own member healthcare organizations and to mitigate the effects of drug shortages and lower rising drug costs. As an example, the Novaplus program provides Vizient members improved access to more than 760 medications, including most of the drugs regularly listed as "short," the company said.
Vizient also participates in a drug shortage task force, a collaborative effort with its member healthcare organizations to support greater stability of the supply chain, particularly for injectable generic products.