LEHI, Utah–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Civica Rx (Civica, Inc. or Civica) announced today that CivicaScript is the name for its operating unit dedicated to lowering the cost of select high-cost generic medicines, and that one of the nation’s largest health insurers and a leading drug manufacturer are joining the initiative.
Anthem, Inc. – which operates affiliated health plans that provide health coverage to more than 43 million people in the U.S. – is joining CivicaScript as a new health insurer partner, joining the entity’s co-founders, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and 17 independent and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies. Combined, CivicaScript partners represent close to 100 million lives.
Catalent, Inc., a leading global drug development and manufacturing company, has entered into a long-term partnership with CivicaScript to produce essential generic medicines that are widely prescribed for patients.
Gina Guinasso, J.D. has joined as President, CivicaScript. Gina comes most recently from OptumRx, a United Health Group company, where she was Senior Vice President of Commercial and Medicare Formulary Strategy. Prior to OptumRx, Gina held leadership positions in federal and state policy, reimbursement strategy, and payer account management at Takeda Oncology, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and Acorda Therapeutics.
CivicaScript will initially develop and manufacture 6 to 10 common but high-priced generic medicines for which there is currently not enough market competition to drive down price. Using a cost-plus and price transparent model, CivicaScript also plans to innovate and further transform the supply chain to lower the cost of prescription medicines. CivicaScript will work to deliver these medicines to U.S. patients at a fraction of their current cost, saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars annually within a few years post launch. The first CivicaScript generic medicines will be available to individuals and families across the country as early as 2022 through retail and mail-order pharmacies.
“Today’s announcements are important steps in advancing our mission of making quality, affordable generic medicines available to millions of people at home,” said Martin VanTrieste, Civica’s President and CEO. “We are delighted to welcome our newest partners and our new CivicaScript President, Gina Guinasso, a nationally revered managed healthcare executive. Together, we are committed to putting patients and their needs first by lowering the cost of exceptionally high-cost generic medicines.”
Civica Rx is a non-profit organization founded in 2018 by leading health systems (CommonSpirit Health, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Providence St. Joseph Health, SSM Health and Trinity Health) and three philanthropies (the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Gary and Mary West Foundation) to address generic drug shortages and the high costs of vital medicines. Kaiser Permanente and Memorial Hermann Health have since joined these organizations on Civica’s Governing Board of Directors. Since its inception, more than 50 health systems – representing nearly 1,400 hospitals and one-third of all licensed hospital beds in the U.S. – have joined the effort.
In 2020, Civica and the BCBS companies announced the formation of a new, yet-to-be-named subsidiary – now CivicaScript – that would focus on bringing lower-cost generic prescription medicines directly to consumers in hospital or retail pharmacies. Anthem has now joined 17 other BCBS companies and BCBSA to capitalize the CivicaScript venture.
“Making sure consumers have access to the medicines they need at a price they can afford is a top priority for BCBSA and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the country,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BCBSA. “That is why we co-founded CivicaScript last year, so together we can help get safe, effective and affordable medicines to consumers as quickly as possible. We’re pleased to have Anthem and Catalent join this partnership and help accelerate industry efforts to lower the cost of generic prescription medications.”
“Now, more than ever, we need greater choice in quality, generic prescription drugs so that everyone can afford to take their prescriptions and continue to stay healthy,” said Jeffrey Alter, Executive Vice President, IngenioRx and Anthem Health Solutions. “By partnering with CivicaScript and introducing original and inventive approaches, we look forward to making high-cost medicines more affordable.”
All of Civica’s Hospital System members will have access to the retail medications manufactured by CivicaScript.
Catalent, a global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products, will develop a range of CivicaScript-owned generic drug Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs). Production will take place at Catalent’s oral solids facilities in Somerset, New Jersey, and Winchester, Kentucky.
“This partnership is squarely aligned with Catalent’s mission of putting the needs of patients first, ensuring the safe and reliable supply of essential drug products,” commented Alessandro Maselli, President & Chief Operating Officer. He added, “Our experts in Somerset and Winchester have a proven track record of developing and launching new drugs, and with CivicaScript, we are in a position to offer a robust and efficient supply chain that can help increase access to vital medicines.”
While many generic medicines cost less than brand name drugs, some high-cost generics are more expensive than they need to be due to lack of competition in the market. With generic medicines accounting for nearly 90 percent of all prescriptions, numerous studies confirm that medication costs can dictate whether patients fill or ration their generic prescriptions. CivicaScript is intent on addressing that problem.
“As with Civica in the in-patient hospital setting, CivicaScript will make quality generic medications available and affordable in the outpatient and retail pharmacy setting,” said Dan Liljenquist, Civica Board Chairman. “The addition of ‘Script’ to the name signals that the new company will provide medicines as prescribed for consumers and it is our expectation that a ‘CivicaScript’ will represent quality and affordability to individuals and families across the country.”
CivicaScript welcomes other health plans, employers, pharmacies, and health innovators to become partners in this growing initiative.