SSM St. Clare Hospital in Fenton gets shipment of hard-to-find generic drugs

FENTON, Mo. (KMOX) — SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton is the first hospital in the St. Louis region to receive medication from the non-profit group Civica Rx.   SSM Health is a governing member of Civica Rx -- formed one year ago by a coalition of hospitals to address the generic drug shortage in the United States.  It's a collaboration between three philanthropies and 40 health systems, comprising 30 percent of the nation's hospitals. 

"My understanding of the way that this works is not necessarily are we going to get the products at a cheaper cost, we're going to get the products at a flat rate that we have agreed to pay to ensure that we get supply," said Kristina Bryowsky, director of pharmacy at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital.  "So what's happened is that some of the drugs have gone up in cost and as they get to be even more difficult to obtain, the prices continue to go up so we will be fortunate to have a set price and a guaranteed supply for those drugs."

 St. Clare Hospital recently received its first shipment from Civica Rx.

"We received Vancomycin, which is an antibiotic used for resistant organisms," Bryowsky tells KMOX.  "Most of the time there's not alternatives to treat those organisms.  And as we know, anti-microbial resistance is something that is not getting better and it's going to be very difficult for us to invent our way out of it, so we need to best use the antibiotics that we have for the organisms that we need to treat."

And Bryowsky says there are many more essential generic medications to come.

"Some of the other ones coming from Civica Rx include Daptomycin," said Bryowsky.  "It's also an antibiotic that's used for resistant organisms and we've been told that there's an additional sixteen products in the pipeline but that full list has not been released to us yet.  A lot of them are older drugs that are used in the operating room or in the emergency room to treat our most critical patients."