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The strategic partnership is expected to bring a new source of supply to providers, alleviating in particular the two-year shortage of metoprolol injection.
ProvideGx, a subsidiary of Premier, a healthcare improvement company focused on the generic drug supply chain, is collaborating with Baxter Healthcare Corporation to make additional generic drugs available for purchase through Premier’s group purchasing organization, Premier announced on Feb. 5, 2019. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Premier reports that drug shortages have been on the rise for several years, with an estimated 210 drugs currently at risk or not readily available for US hospitals, according to the national database maintained by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP). With wide-ranging effects on patient care, drug shortages can add time and expense as providers search for therapeutic alternatives and manage supplies, potentially delaying certain elective surgeries.
“Our agreement with Baxter is the latest milestone in Premier’s long-standing, multi-year role in working to eliminate drug shortages,” said Michael J. Alkire, chief operating officer at Premier, in a company press release. “Premier is committed to aggregating provider demand for products and creating a predictable sales channel for suppliers. This agreement allows Premier to work with Baxter on mitigating shortages that have plagued the market for years, marking the 92nd shortage product by the National Drug Code that we can now supply on a reliable basis.”
Premier and Baxter are collaborating to supply metoprolol injection, an important blood pressure medication often used to treat patients experiencing hypertensive emergencies, such as heart attacks. Baxter is adding metoprolol injection to its growing portfolio of generic medicines that are essential to hospital care. Metoprolol, which has been subject to shortages since 2016, will be available for purchase by any health system or healthcare provider at competitive price points, according to Baxter.
ProvideGx is fully funded by Premier and is responsible for identifying safe, high-quality supply sources for drugs on the national drug shortage list. Through the subsidiary, Premier is working with a robust pipeline of manufacturers to identify a supply of shortage products, explore solutions to address specific market needs, and secure guaranteed supply contracts for APIs to promote a continuous supply.
“We are expanding our portfolio of generic injectable medicines at competitive cost points for hospitals, and are proud to work with Premier, a long-standing partner and leader in solving drug shortages,” said Robert Felicelli, president, Pharmaceuticals, Baxter, in the company press release. “Combining our leadership in drug delivery technology and supply chain strength with Premier’s data and vast purchasing network will help us better understand demand and create a sustainable supply of this essential medicine.”
ProvideGx plans to introduce drugs from a target list of more than 60 shortage products in the months to come, beginning with sterile generic injectables, a category that is particularly susceptible to shortages.
“Drug shortages are an unfortunate reality, and each one creates new financial and patient care challenges. We strongly support the commitment of Premier and Baxter to not only access drugs in shortage today, but also head off potential future shortages,” said Lee H. Perlman, president of GNYHA Ventures, the management company of Premier’s group purchasing partner, Acurity.