11 children’s hospitals, startup drugmaker partner to fight pediatric drug shortages

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Eleven children's hospitals and startup drugmaker Phlow have joined forces to create the Children's Hospital Coalition to combat pediatric drug shortages, the new organization said March 18

"The care of America's children is unnecessarily impacted by essential medicine shortages, which sometimes lead to compromised patient care, clinician frustration and increased hospital pharmacy costs and inefficiencies," Eric Edwards, MD, PhD, CEO of Phlow, said in a news release.

A 2019 survey of 330 U.S. hospitals, including 29 children's hospitals, showed that drug shortages disproportionately affect children's hospitals, the coalition said. 

The 11 member hospitals are: 

  • Arkansas Children’s
  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU
  • Children’s National Hospital
  • Children’s Wisconsin
  • Cincinnati Children’s
  • Cook Children’s
  • Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital

"Far too often, the healthcare needs of children are not a priority. The coalition will draw attention to this important issue of shortages of essential medicines and more importantly, start to fix the problem," said Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. 

The coalition said its goal is to increase the resiliency and reliability of the pediatric pharmaceutical supply chain. The hospitals will collaborate to identify and prioritize the most needed essential medicines, including sterile injectables and drugs used to treat pediatric cancers and diseases. Phlow then plans to ensure a reliable supply of those drugs and has pledged to provide transparent pricing for coalition hospitals. 

Phlow is a generic drugmaker based in Richmond, Va., formed early last year. It describes itself as a "public benefit pharmaceutical manufacturing company" and in May signed a $345 million contract with the federal government to manufacture drugs for the national medication stockpile.

Read the full news release here

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