Pharmaceutical prices have been rising by leaps and bounds in America. In some cases, as with the antiparasite medication Daraprim, the price increases have been exorbitant, sudden, and apparently unjustified. Ordinary methods of oversight have consistently failed. Congressional hearings and other attempts to rein in the rampaging prices have been unsuccessful. Now four of the largest hospital systems in America are teaming together with the Department of Veterans Affairs to form their own pharmaceutical corporation and market a variety of life-saving medicines to their own facilities for more reasonable prices. This is widely seen as a necessary step in order to safeguard the health of their patrons from pharmaceutical company malfeasance.
The four founding hospital systems are Ascension, Trinity Health, Intermountain Healthcare, and SSM Health. Taken together, these four systems and the Veterans Affairs Department will represent more than 450 hospitals across the United States. Their purchasing power is going to be immense, and their needs will be both consistent and internally well-understood.
Unfortunately, due to their reasonable concerns about pharmaceutical corporation practices, this innovative company cannot name the drugs that they plan to produce. They are well aware of predatory practices that they would be vulnerable to as the existing corporations attempt to sabotage their nascent enterprise and drive them out of business before they can begin to drive prices down. The new corporation simply cannot announce what drugs they plan to market or produce. Their combative attitude towards this unjust state of affairs is obvious from their corporate communications. The CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, Dr. Marc Harrison, was quoted as saying, “This is a shot across the bow of the bad guys. “We are not going to lay down. We are going to go ahead and try and fix it.” The Department of Veteran’s Affairs released a statement that concurred with this goal, reiterating their clients’ need for affordable and easily available generic medications.
The new corporation is organized as a non-profit. Although the products of this new pharmaceutical corporation will be intended for internal consumption by the participating hospital systems and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs at first, there is hope that the business model might prove successful enough to spread to other customers. This corporation will be fully approved by the FDA and in all ways will maintain themselves as the legal equal of existing pharmaceutical corporations. However, their collective purpose to control costs and serve patients without undue profits will almost certainly be of great benefit to American healthcare consumers.