Salt Lake City, UT. – Over the past several years, we have all grown accustomed to the drug-pricing-war headlines. Capitol Hill hearings, pharma becoming more transparent around pricing practices, and even public figures like Martin Shkreli taking advantage of drug shortages. But, regardless of which side of the aisle they stand on, in the end, most want to bring as many life-saving solutions to more patients quicker than ever.

Last week, a new headline in the war against drug pricing caught my eye – a collaboration of hospital systems banding together to create and operate their own not-for-profit drug company and sell the generic drugs back to their organizations at a fraction of the cost.

Intermountain Healthcare, a Utah-based, not-for-profit group of hospitals, 22 in total, announced a new collaboration with three other major hospital systems - Ascension, SSM Health and Trinity Health – joining over 450 hospitals in the US. Once the new company is FDA approved, the company has plans to either manufacture the drugs themselves or find a reputable 3rd party to manufacture. 

“It’s an ambitious plan,” said Dr. Harrison, (CEO of Intermountain Healthcare) “but healthcare systems are in the best position to fix the problems in the generic drug market. We witness, on a daily basis, how shortages of essential generic medications or egregious cost increases for those same drugs affect our patients. We are confident we can improve the situation for our patients by bringing much needed competition to the generic drug market.”

You can read the full press release and more about this story here.

Why This Matters –

We have followed the trending drug debate now for years. And with every headline, we see different groups and organizations react in various ways. This is by far one of the more interesting – and if successful (read: FDA approval) it will most certainly spawn new moments of innovation from within healthcare and more than likely a reactive move from the pharmaceutical industry.

But thinking further down the line, how would this advancement impact the recent CVS/Aetna merger…or Amazon’s position within the pharmaceutical space? As new models emerge, we can only hope that in the end patients receive the care when and where they need it.

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About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.