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Blue Cross Blue Shield partners with Civica on generic drug mission

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, together with 18 affiliate BCBS companies, will invest $55 million to create a new subsidiary of Civica Rx, the generic drug company created by hospital systems in 2018.Civica and BCBS didn’t disclose which drugs they will target, although they said the unit will prioritize several medicines that have high potential for delivering savings, particularly in uncompetitive generic markets.The partnership is the latest sign of interest from insurers and manufacturers in Civica, which was formed to help address supply shortages and sharp price increases for certain copycat medicines.

As medical costs continue to mount, companies like Civica are searching for ways to shake up the status quo. As part of their announcement, BCBS and Civica issued an invitation to other health plans, employers and retailers to join them.

Three philanthropies and a group of health systems formed Civica as a nonprofit in late 2018. Since then, the company has inked partnerships with generic drug manufacturers already holding approvals from the Food and Drug Administration.

Civica made its first delivery just a few months ago and now has 18 medications either in production or already shipping to members.

Last week, Civica announced a seven-year partnership with Thermo Fisher to develop its own in-house products for member companies. That deal will usher in the next stage for Civica, which will use Thermo to produce drugs under an Abbreviated New Drug Application it owns.

The subsidiary created with BCBS will also acquire and develop ANDAs, the companies said.

Eventually, Civica expects to have its own manufacturing facilities.

The new partnership between BCBS and Civica will provide “meaningful savings for individuals and families,” the group said. The first generic medications from the subsidiary will be available by early 2022.