As healthcare providers look for more ways to reduce costs while increasing quality of care, drug costs are often mentioned as one contributor to the overall cost of care. While generic drugs do offer cost savings over branded medications, their costs have also risen and in some cases, shortages of much needed generic medication have created challenges for providers and further increased the cost of drugs commonly used in hospitals.
An innovative approach to solving the generic drug issues faced by hospitals is the recently-announced formation of Civica Rx, a consortium of seven health systems that represent over 500 hospitals and three nonprofit foundations.
Civica Rx will be an FDA-approved manufacturer and will either directly manufacture generic drugs or sub-contract manufacturing to reputable contract manufacturing organizations. A total of 14 hospital-administered generic drugs has been identified as the company’s initial focus, with the first drug expected on the market in 2019.
It is not easy to start up a pharmaceutical company. Although the company is not-for-profit and is starting with a narrowly-focused product line, they will need the same data management and integration systems required by other pharmaceutical companies.
These are not systems that can be bought “off-the-shelf.” The healthcare company will have to face the same challenges that life sciences companies face. These challenges include drug safety guidelines, compliance requirements and supply chain issues.
Life sciences companies have very specific reporting requirements with formats set by regulators including the Food and Drug Administration. If some or all the generic drugs are manufactured by one or more CMOs and distributed by one or more logistics companies, the integration challenges and time required to onboard new partners add to the complexity of business.
While data and analytics drove the decision to form a consortium and to identify the initial 14 drugs to be manufactured, the organization will need robust technology to handle the integration and transmission of data from CMOs and logistics companies as well as internal data to provide insights into business performance. The ability to seamlessly integrate disparate sources of data is critical to the consortium’s success, effectiveness and cost-efficiency.
Pharmaceutical companies have addressed complex integration to connect applications throughout the company to support commercialization, support customer-centric marketing, and enhance supply chain operations.
As Civica Rx positions itself to enter the pharmaceutical business, it will be dependent on access to multiple sources of data and analytics to provide insights to support decisions. Capturing, managing and integrating the data to make it accessible in real- or near-real time will be essential to Civica – and all pharmaceutical companies – as the industry moves forward.
Is your life sciences company ready to take on the data integration challenges faced by the industry?