This New Non-Profit Drug Company Wants To Fix The US Healthcare Industry

In the US, many medicines are often overpriced or in short supply. Shidlovski/Shutterstock

Though private companies may like to argue otherwise, past research has proven that competition among manufacturers offering the same drug results in lower prices, which in turn leads to a reduced burden on thinly stretched hospital budgets. The end result is more efficient healthcare centers and lower out-of-pocket costs for patients. The obscene price hikes that are becoming common in the industry typically arise when only one company offers a drug. For example, in 2015, a company called Turing Pharmaceuticals became the sole source for a decades-old antiparasitic drug called pyrimethamine; they subsequently raised the price by more than 5,500 percent. (You might have heard of the debacle through the despicable antics of Turing's leader, Martin Shkreli.)

An employee at a drug manufacturing facility operates the machine that puts pills into blister packs. Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

“We want the marketplace to take care of itself and work, so if the entrance of Civica with 14 drugs – and the threat we can do more, pretty quickly, makes the marketplace work better, probably we don’t grow much bigger than that,” Civica’s newly appointed CEO, Martin VanTrieste, told The Washington Post. They will consider expanding “if the marketplace is broken and can’t be fixed by adding just 14 drugs.”

VanTrieste, a former executive at the pharma giant Amgen, came out of retirement to serve at Civica under the condition that he earns a $0 salary.

[H/T: The Washington Post and NPR]

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