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 partnered with the nonprofit Civica Rx to form the subsidiary, CiviciaScript, 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. With generic drugs accounting for nearly 90 percent of all prescriptions, the partnership with BCBSA, BCBS companies and CivicaScript brings the same model to outpatient drugs, like those consumers purchase at local pharmacies or receive through the mail. Catalent, Inc., a leading global drug development and manufacturing company, has entered into a long-term partnership with CivicaScript to produce the medications.

What drugs will be available under the new partnership?

The initial plan is for CivicaScript to develop and manufacture between six 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; at the onset, CivicaScript is focusing on select high-cost generic prescription medicines that treat a range of health conditions. The drugs will start becoming available to consumers in 2022 through retail and mail-order pharmacies. Additionally, CivicaScript plans to use a cost-plus and price transparent model to innovate and further transform the supply chain to lower the cost of prescription drugs

The 18 BCBS companies whose members will have access to the CivicaScript produces products cover about 83 million people. Ultimately, the goal is to make the drugs available to all Americans as more partners, such as pharmacy retailers, are brought into the partnership.

Are they safe?

CivicaScript will 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 long-standing 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.
  • Read more about CivicaScript.
  • 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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