CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Premier Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC), through its ProvideGx® program, has partnered with Fresenius Kabi to supply pre-filled, single-use IV bags of heparin sodium injection, USP to healthcare providers, helping to stabilize the long-term supply of a medication that is necessary when performing a number of hospital inpatient procedures.
Heparin is an anticoagulant that prevents the formation of blood clots that can ultimately lead to venous and arterial thromboembolic events if not properly treated. The drug has been on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug shortage list since 2017. However, shortages have been exacerbated recently, as research shows that between 25 and 40 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 develop blood clots and require medications like heparin upon admission. These same patients remain at risk for clots up to 90 days post-discharge and that may extend the need for anticoagulation therapy.
“Premier data shows that demand for anti-clotting medications can spike by as much as 46 percent during surge periods,” said Premier’s President, Michael J. Alkire. “As COVID-19 cases increase across the country, the partnership between Premier and Fresenius Kabi will help avoid shortages for the benefit of the patients who need this life-saving drug. Longer term, a ready supply of heparin is a pre-condition for resuming routine and elective procedures in the hospital setting.”
Heparin has historically experienced supply volatility due to difficulties associated with obtaining the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) necessary to make it. API for heparin is derived from porcine intestines. Estimates suggest that approximately 45 percent of all the API used to make heparin is sourced from China. This overreliance has led to shortages when quality problems and other supply chain disruptions occur. To help mitigate this problem and assure adequate supply to meet a potential future surge in demand, Fresenius Kabi sources its raw materials from multiple regions.
Fresenius Kabi is a global healthcare company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. It is a leading provider of generic injectables for U.S. hospitals and is known for its award-winning service.
“Sourcing heparin has been an ongoing challenge,” said Dr. Michael Molby, pharmacy supply chain manager for Atrium Health, a Premier member hospital system based in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Having a resilient and reliable supply chain is essential. This is something that’s needed in intensive care units, especially during this time when we’re dealing with higher patient numbers due to COVID-19. It is crucial in providing patient care and our ability to save lives.”
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.
The financial terms of Premier’s agreement with Fresenius Kabi were not disclosed.
Matters discussed in this release that are not statements of historical or current facts, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Premier to be materially different from historical results or from any future results or projections expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. In addition to statements that explicitly describe such risks and uncertainties, readers are urged to consider statements in the conditional or future tenses or that include terms such as “believes,” “belief,” “expects,” “estimates,” “intends,” “anticipates” or “plans” to be uncertain and forward-looking. Forward-looking statements may include comments as to Premier’s beliefs and expectations as to future events and trends affecting its business and are necessarily subject to uncertainties, many of which are outside Premier’s control. More information on potential factors that could affect Premier’s financial results is included from time to time in the “Forward-Looking Statements,” “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of Premier’s periodic and current filings with the SEC and available on Premier’s website at investors.premierinc.com. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Premier undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise that occur after that date.
About Premier, Inc.
Premier, Inc. (NASDAQ: PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 4,100 U.S. hospitals and health systems and approximately 200,000 other providers and organizations to transform healthcare. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and consulting and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. Premier plays a critical role in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry, collaborating with members to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier is passionate about transforming American healthcare. Please visit Premier’s news and investor sites on www.premierinc.com; as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Premier’s blog for more information about the company.