2020 Hero Civica 1.23.20 Prescription Drugs

Investing to meet the need for affordable medicines

Hear more as Martin VanTrieste, president and CEO of Civica Rx, discusses addressing high-cost prescrption drugs with Sen. Bill Frist on "A Second Opinion" podcast. 

Americans pay too much for prescription drugs, spending far more than any other country. Even generic prescriptions can sometimes be too costly for patients to afford. 

So we are taking action to help curb rising drug costs. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and 18 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies are partnering with the nonprofit Civica Rx to form a subsidiary to help make sure Americans can get the generic prescription drugs they need at a price they can afford.

How will this work?

Civica Rx was founded in 2018 to develop generic drugs administered in hospitals to ensure they were available and affordable. Its model has already seen success in the hospital setting, where generic drug prices have been reduced by 30 to 50 percent on average. The new partnership with BCBSA and BCBS companies brings the same model to outpatient drugs, like those consumers purchase at local pharmacies or receive through the mail.

What drugs will be available under the new partnership?

The initial plan is for Civica Rx to manufacture between seven and 10 generic drugs that currently face little competition and therefore carry a price that is too high. The exact drugs to be manufactured are still being determined, but the focus is on drugs that treat chronic conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and mental health conditions. The drugs will start becoming available to consumers in 2022.

About 38.8 million BCBS members will have access to the Civica-produced products. Ultimately, the goal is to make them available to all Americans as more partners, such as pharmacy retailers, are brought into the partnership.

Are they safe?

Civica Rx will continue to work with high-quality manufacturers to ensure each drug produced is FDA-approved as safe and effective.

How does this fit in with BCBSA’s advocacy on legislative and regulatory proposals to lower drug prices and bring generics to the market faster?

The partnership with Civica Rx is complementary to BCBSA’s longstanding support for legislation that would lower drug prices for consumers. BCBSA will continue to advocate for congressional action to lower drug prices and bring generics to the market faster. Civica Rx will continue working to bring consumers drugs at the lowest possible price.

See a full list of participating BCBS companies here.

Additional Resources

  • Learn more about the BCBS-Civica partnership.
  • Learn more about our work to provide access to safe, effective and affordable prescriptions.
  • Read our issue brief on affordable, effective and safe prescription drugs.

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