CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Premier Inc.,through its ProvideGx® program, has partnered with Somerset Pharma, LLC., to supply sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, an antibiotic combination used to treat respiratory infections, a common complication associated with COVID-19.
Although sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim is not in active shortage today, it is a drug category that lacks competition, which can make it vulnerable to price increases and potential shortages. Somerset is a new market entrant for this drug, working to creating a viable, competitive alternative and second source of supply.
“Through our collaboration with Somerset, we are bringing much needed competition to the market, helping to ensure a stable and predictable long-term price point for our members,” said Premier President Michael J. Alkire. “At the same time, this deal provides a long-term contract to Somerset, creating predictable demand for years into the future. ProvideGx is a totally unique approach in the market, creating a winning recipe that is working to create a healthier, more diversified pharmaceutical market.”
Established in 2019, Somerset Pharma is a privately owned, U.S.-based pharmaceutical company. Together with privately owned, U.S.-based Somerset Therapeutics, established in 2015, Somerset develops, manufactures and markets generic injectable and ophthalmic drugs. The company markets 22 products today, with 25 more awaiting approval.
To help meet a potential future surge in demand, Somerset Pharma, LLC will continue to mitigate risk in all aspects of production, including supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients and other key manufacturing components to ensure availability of products to Premier members on an ongoing basis.
Guided by health systems with more than 1,600 hospitals across the nation, Premier’s ProvideGx program creates long-term committed buying contracts that provide participating manufacturers with the surety needed to increase production or move into new markets. Premier’s programs, including ProvideGx, currently provide members access to more than 150 drugs that are or have been recently designated as shortage drugs, with a pipeline of more than 50 additional drugs. The program has also ensured an adequate safety stock of medicines and has successfully protected supply, even as demand surged more than 150 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Somerset Pharma recognizes the importance of ensuring availability of quality critical care medicines for hospitals and medical institutions, goals that are all the more important during times of unpredictability and pandemic,” said Dr. Veerappan Subramanian, President and CEO of Somerset Pharma. “As a company founded on the basis of science and quality, the need to ensure a continuous supply of products is built into the culture of Somerset Pharma.”
“As Somerset and Premier began negotiating and exploring opportunities to work together, it became clear that it would be possible to execute a win-win strategy,” said Kevin M. Congdon, Somerset Pharma’s Senior Director of Institutional Sales. “Providing ProvideGx members with critical medication for patients through a long-term partnership will be a model to follow into the future.”
The financial terms of Premier’s agreement with Somerset Pharma were not disclosed.