CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Premier Inc., through its ProvideGx® program, has partnered with Apotex Corp. to supply three essential antibiotics to healthcare providers, helping to secure the immediate and long-term supply needs of a category of medications vital to treating bacterial infections.
The three medicines include cefazolin, cefepime and ceftriaxone for injection and are part of the cephalosporin category of antibiotics. Cephalosporins are one of the most widely prescribed classes of medications in the world and treat a variety of bacterial infections including skin or ear infections, strep throat, meningitis and pneumonia.
These drugs have historically experienced supply volatility in both active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and finished manufactured product. Cefazolin and cefepime have been on and off the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) drug shortage list since 2018 and 2015, respectively. In the absence of these front-line antibiotics, healthcare providers are often forced to use novel antibiotics that would otherwise be reserved for severe cases thereby potentially proliferating antimicrobial resistance.
“Through our partnership with Apotex, we are taking one more step to eliminate drug shortages for our healthcare provider members, create increased market competition and promote more predictable, long-term prices,” said Premier President and incoming CEO Michael J. Alkire. “ProvideGx is building a more diversified pharmaceutical market designed to create a sustainable supply of these antibiotics commonly used for routine patient care.”
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 also monitors weekly fill rates for more than 250 drugs necessary for COVID-19 care, provides an adequate safety stock of medicines and has successfully protected supply even as demand surged more than 150 percent during the pandemic.
“Sourcing these essential medications has been an ongoing challenge,” said Gary Kerr, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Baystate Health, a Premier member hospital system based in Springfield, Massachusetts. “These basic, life-sustaining therapies are crucial to our ability to deliver evidence-based care and improve patient outcomes. The unique ProvideGx model takes innovative steps to ensure continuous supply of shortage drugs and build greater supply chain resiliency.”
Apotex Corp. is a global pharmaceutical company that produces high-quality, affordable medicines (both generic and innovative pharmaceuticals) for patients around the world. The agreement with Premier helps facilitate increased access to these medicines for Premier member institutions and their patients.
“Apotex recognizes the importance of ensuring the continued availability and affordability of commonly used, high-quality medicines for healthcare providers and patients,” said Michael Bohling, Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Apotex Corp. “This agreement with Premier continues to build on our efforts, which we hope will ultimately increase patient access to three critical antibiotics, cefazolin, cefepime and ceftriaxone ─ helping to ensure market sustainability over the long term.”
The financial terms of Premier’s agreement with Apotex Corp. are not being disclosed.
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