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Manufacture Biosimilars, Small Molecules

For Patients, Not Profits

Back in January 2018, “Project Rx” was announced – an ambitious initiative to establish a not-for-profit generic drug company. Further exciting details have now emerged (1): the company will be called Civica Rx and will be headed by Martin Van Trieste, former chief quality officer at Amgen and number 2 on The Medicine Maker’s Power List of Industry Influencers (2) More than 120 health organizations – representing a third of national hospitals in the US – have expressed an interest in some sort of participation.

A huge number of generic medicines have been approved in the US, but shortages – and high prices – are still an issue, particularly for sterile, generic medicines considered “foundational” to hospitals (3). The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has listed hundreds of compounds facing shortages (4) – but a clear problem is that demand is outstripping supply.

Van Trieste has described the company as “a public asset with a mission to ensure that generic medications are accessible and affordable.” Leading very much from the front, Van Trieste takes on the new role without compensation.

What are the facts?
  • Civica Rx will be an FDA-approved manufacturer that will either directly manufacture generic drugs or sub-contract manufacturing to reputable contract manufacturing organizations.
  • The company will seek to stabilize the supply of essential generic medicines administered in hospitals. 
  • A secondary goal is to boost competition within the generic market to lower the costs of crucial medicines.
  • 14 hospital-administered generic drugs will be targeted by the company as an initial focus.
  • The first products are expected to be on the market as early as 2019.
Who’s involved?
  • Catholic Health Initiatives 
  • HCA Healthcare 
  • Intermountain Healthcare
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Providence St. Joseph Health
  • SSM Health
  • Trinity Health
  • The US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • The Laura and John Arnold Foundation
  • The Peterson Center on Healthcare
  • The Gary and Mary West Foundation

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  1. BusinessWire, “Not-for-Profit Generic Drug Company Officially Established, Attracts Interest of More Than 120 Health Organizations,” (2018). Available at Last accessed September, 2018.
  2. The Medicine Maker, 2018 Power List. Available at
  3. S Barlas, “Frustration Over Generic Drug Shortages and Prices Prompts Federal and Private Actions: Health Systems Take Matters Into Their Own Hands, Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 43 (2018).
  4. ASHP, “Drug Shortages List”. Available at Last accessed September, 2018.

About the Author

Stephanie Sutton

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent seven years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.

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