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The exciting new idea hospitals have to bring down drug prices | Vox

Let’s talk about an unambiguously interesting, promising, and maybe even downright good piece of health care news you might have missed: A group of hospitals is banding together to produce cheap generic drugs to fight off egregious price hikes and drug shortages.

The not-for-profit venture is called Civica Rx, and the company announced itself last month. A collection of 22 hospitals in the Salt Lake City area called Intermountain Healthcare, the Mayo Clinic, the for-profit health care facilities company HCA Healthcare, and some philanthropic foundations are pulling together to form the firm.

Their mission is remarkably simple: For generic drugs that are in short supply or whose prices have risen dramatically (or both), the company will start producing its own, cheaper alternative. It is, in a sense, a drug maker that exists exclusively to combat high prices or drug shortages — it does not sound like researching and developing new drugs is part of their plan.

Civica Rx “represents a realistic means of addressing the problem of small market generic pricing,” Craig Garthwaite, a health economics professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, told me.

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The exciting new idea hospitals have to bring down drug prices – Vox.