San Diego, CA – March 3, 2022 – Civica Rx, the nation’s first not-for-profit generic pharmaceutical company co-founded by the Gary and Mary West Foundation in 2018, announced plans today to manufacture and distribute insulins at significantly lower prices than those currently on the market. The availability of affordable insulins will benefit people with diabetes, particularly the uninsured or underinsured, who often pay the most out of pocket costs for their medications and are constantly forced to choose between life-sustaining medicines and essential living expenses. An estimated one in every four Americans with diabetes are now rationing or skipping lifesaving doses due to cost.
“For decades, patients living with diabetes have been victim to drug company price gouging. Today’s announcement turns that narrative on its head, shifts power back into the hands of patients, and demonstrates the disruptive force of Civica in the pharmaceutical industry,” said Shelley Lyford, CEO and Chair of the Gary and Mary West Foundation and Vice Chair of the Board of Civica Rx. “The Gary and Mary West Foundation is committed to developing and supporting innovative solutions to combat the high cost of prescription drugs in America that harm seniors and patients of all ages, and we are proud to have Civica as a strong partner in these efforts.”
Civica will produce three generic insulins at a recommended price of no more than $30 per vial and no more than $55 for a box of five pre-filled pens. The Civica-produced insulins – glargine, lispro, and aspart – are biologics interchangeable with Lantus, Humalog, and Novolog, brand-name insulins with current list prices of nearly $300 or approximately 10 times the amount of Civica’s prices. Contingent on FDA approval, the company anticipates that its first insulin (glargine) will be available for purchase as early as 2024.
“More than 8 million Americans rely on insulin to live, but many can’t afford to take the amount they need because of the historically high and prohibitive cost of insulin,” said Martin VanTrieste, President and CEO of Civica. “We know that to really solve for the insulin cost and access challenges so many Americans face, we need a process – from manufacturing to setting a transparent price – that ultimately lowers the cost of the drug for those living with diabetes. In that spirit, we will ensure patients know where Civica’s low-cost insulin is available.”
The initiative is the product of a collaboration with partners that represent nearly every corner of the diabetes ecosystem, including foundations, payers, providers, patient advocates, and nonprofit organizations. The collaborating partners are Arnold Ventures, Beyond Type 1, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and 12 independent BCBS companies (Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Hawaii, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, Blue Cross of Idaho, Blue Shield of California, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Florida Blue, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Independence Blue Cross), Gary and Mary West Foundation, Glen E. Tullman Fund, Intermountain Healthcare, JDRF, Kaiser Permanente, Peterson Center on Healthcare, Providence, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Transcarent and Trinity Health.
Civica will sell its insulins at one low, transparent price for all based on the cost of development, production, and distribution. Manufacturing will occur at Civica’s state-of-the-art 140,000 square-foot manufacturing plant, currently being constructed in Petersburg, Virginia. The facility, which will be operational in the first quarter of 2024, will have the capacity to produce a substantial amount of the insulin needed in the United States, with additional space to increase production if necessary.
About the Gary and Mary West Foundation
Inspired by its founders and sole funders, Gary and Mary West, the Gary and Mary West Foundation is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs and increasing access to high-quality, affordable models of care that enable seniors to successfully age in place. As part of the West Health family of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations based in San Diego and Washington D.C., the Foundation works with its Institute and Policy Center using philanthropy, applied medical research, policy and advocacy to transform healthcare across America. Learn more at westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.
Civica, Inc. (Civica, Civica Rx) is a nonprofit generic pharmaceutical company. Civica was created by hospital systems and philanthropies in 2018 to reduce and prevent chronic drug shortages in hospitals and the unpredictable price spikes that often accompany them. Its mission is to make quality generic medicines accessible and affordable to everyone.
Today Civica is governed by leading hospital systems (CommonSpirit Health, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Memorial Hermann, Providence, SSM Health, and Trinity Health), representatives of the payer community (Blue Cross of Idaho and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association), and philanthropies committed to improving healthcare (Gary and Mary West Foundation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and Peterson Center on Healthcare).
Hospital advisors—doctors and pharmacists—prioritize the essential medicines Civica provides for use in acute and critical care, emergency rooms, and surgery.