is our end goal
Drug shortages have persisted for decades and continue to be a problem today
The root cause of generic sterile injectable drug shortages is their low cost, reducing manufacturers’ incentive or ability to invest in quality or newer manufacturing facilities. This pushes production offshore to low-wage markets where quality problems proliferate and the FDA presence is less consistent.1
Manufacturer quality issues cause companies to exit the market temporarily or permanently. Resulting shortages cut across therapeutic categories of generic drugs. Sterile injectable drugs are especially impacted due to the complexity of manufacturing and the low profit margins associated with these products.
Also exacerbating the shortage issue: the discontinuations of older drugs in favor of newer, more profitable drugs; insufficient quantities of raw materials and limited availability of components from suppliers; and, as fewer companies make older sterile injectable drugs, a limited number of production lines that make these drugs.
Medication shortages disrupt and compromise patient care2
Shortages of essential medications can delay medical care and negatively impact patient outcomes. They can result in medication errors and adverse events and can increase patient mortality and morbidity.
Drug shortages can cost hospitals nearly $360 million annually in labor expenses3
Drug shortages are so ubiquitous that many hospitals and healthcare systems maintain permanent drug shortage response teams that seek alternatives to unavailable drugs.
As a result, time that hospital pharmacists, technicians, nurses and others would prefer to spend caring for patients is spent ensuring that the patients who most need short-supply drugs get whatever supply is available. They must spend time researching safe and effective alternatives, moving supplies from one department or facility to another, communicating changes to physicians and nurses, and updating the corresponding electronic health records.
Chronic drug shortages have become a built-in outcome of the current system
But, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate and prevent drug shortages.
- Ensure adequate buffer inventory of essential medications
- Create market demand from manufacturers that are less likely to have quality failures
- Make direct investments in U.S. manufacturing to ensure adequate capacity and redundancy to ensure a resilient supply of these essential medicines
Civica is the only pharmaceutical company created for the express purpose of preventing and mitigating drug shortages
Since 2018, despite shortages, Civica has been able to reliably supply our hospital members with the quality generic injectable medications that their patients need.
Our model comprises:
- Essential medications in shortage or at risk of shortage identified by hospital member pharmacists and clinicians
- Minimum order commitments by hospital members, incentivizing manufacturers to maintain steady production levels
- Stable and equal prices – that don’t increase when the drug is in short supply – for all members
- A reserve inventory of essential medications that meets or exceeds hospital order commitments
- Intensive quality oversight of suppliers and manufacturers to ensure consistent reliable medications
1 For example, see FDA “Drug Shortages: Root Causes and Potential Solutions,” 2019; Brookings “Federal Policies to Address Persistent Generic Drug Shortages,” 2023; Duke Margolis, “Advancing Federal Coordination to Address Drug Shortages,” 2023.
2 “Drug Shortage: Causes, Impact, and Mitigation Strategies.” Frontiers in Pharmacology. 9 July 2019.
3 “New Vizient Survey Finds Drug Shortages Cost Hospitals Just Under $360M Annually in Labor Expenses.” Vizient Press Release. 26 June 2019.
Join Civica and help eradicate drug shortages.