New generic drug company to start with blood pressure medication

A new generic drug venture will begin supplying an injectable blood pressure drug that’s been in short supply later this month, The Wall Street Journal reported.

ProvideGx, a subsidiary of Premier, will start its offerings with metoprolol, a beta-blocker that can treat blood pressure and angina and is commonly given to heart attack patients. Metoprolol has experienced a shortage for more than a year due to manufacturing delays and a manufacturer dropping out of production, according to the report.

At about $1 to $1.80 for a single dose, few companies have been interested in stepping up to alleviate the shortage given the relatively small market and low cost, Brik Eyre, senior vice president of Baxter International, which will manufacture the new drug for ProvideGx, told the WSJ.

But Eyre said Baxter, which previously produced metoprolol for Claris Injectables, agreed to resume production after discussions with Premier about the demand for the drug.

Increasing the development and distribution of generic medications has been proposed as one way to counter high drug costs, which have become a growing burden to the healthcare industry and a primary target of the Trump administration.

In January, CivicaRx, a not-for-profit startup backed by several major U.S. hospital systems, announced it would introduce 20 generic products in 2019.

Read more from the WSJ below: