Morning Consult: Opinion: A Civic Duty to Address Drug Costs
BY SHELLEY LYFORD
October 2, 2018
A recent series of events tells us a lot about the state of health care in America today: Major nonprofit organizations, business leaders and former top federal officials are all stepping up to confront our broken health care system that costs too much, fails us and is unavailable to many. It is not a coincidence bold actions are happening now; we face a yawning gap of health care leadership in Washington and a failure of the Trump Administration to keep its promises.
Last month, a coalition of seven American hospital systems and three national foundations, alarmed by rising prices and shortages of critical generic drugs, launched a not-for-profit generic drug company, Civica Rx, to push back and take some control over the pharmaceutical supply. In hopes of increasing competition and lowering prices, the company will focus on establishing price transparency and stable supplies for 14 generic drugs. As a nonprofit, the company will not be beholden to dividends or stock prices. And unlike any pharma company I’m aware of, its CEO is working without pay.
Shelley Lyford is a board member of Civica Rx and president and chief executive officer of the San Diego-based Gary and Mary West Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to lowering health care costs and enabling successful aging for our nation’s seniors.