Intermountain, SSM, Ascension and Trinity's generic drug venture could have a third of the hospital market as members: 6 things to know

Seventy U.S. hospitals expressed interest in joining a nonprofit generic drug company venture formed by four health systems across the country and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to Politico.

Here are six things to know.

1. The generic drug company, formed by Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare in collaboration with St. Louis-based Ascension; Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health; St. Louis-based SSM Health and the VA, plans to address the high costs and shortages of generic medications. 

2. Seventy hospital systems have expressed interest in joining the venture since it was announced in January, Dan Liljenquist, vice president at Intermountain Healthcare, told Politico.

3. As a result of the expanded interest, the generic drug venture could soon count a third of all U.S. hospital operators as members, according to the report.

4. To reign in drug prices, the nonprofit drug company plans to directly ship its medications to hospitals, bypassing pharmacy benefits managers and wholesalers. It also intends to publish product prices online to increase price transparency.

5. The generic drug company expects to begin operating in fall 2018, focusing first on off-patent, essential drugs that are in short supply.

6. Mr. Liljenquist reportedly hinted of future partnerships with Amazon and other companies looking to disrupt healthcare. 

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