NPR

Hospitals Prepare To Launch Their Own Drug Company To Fight High Prices And Shortages

A consortium of hospital systems and three foundations is moving ahead with a nonprofit drugmaker that would produce some of the generic medicines health care facilities need the most.
A leader in the generic drugmaker being launched by hospitals is Intermountain Healthcare, whose Intermountain Medical Center Patient Tower in Murray, Utah, is seen here. Source: Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare

Sometimes IV bags are hard for hospitals to come by. Other times it's injectable folic acid to treat anemias. Right now the tissue-numbing agent lidocaine is in short supply.

Shortages of commonplace generic drugs have plagued hospitals in recent years. And with short supplies and fewer suppliers for key drugs, there have been price increases.

Hospital purchasing agents keep searching for new sources for the medications that patients need, while clinicians scramble to find alternatives.

"Every day at Intermountain president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, a system of 22 hospitals based in Salt Lake City. "The impact on patient care, in terms of trying to find alternatives and scurrying around and trying to find necessary drugs, is incredibly time-consuming and disconcerting."

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