Phlow announces national coalition with children’s hospitals
Collaboration to address pediatric drug shortages
Richmond-based Phlow Corp. announced Thursday the launch of a coalition that will help ensure that children’s hospitals across the country receive key medications. The Virginia Commonwealth University-affiliated Children’s Hospital of Richmond is one of 11 founding hospital members.
Children’s Hospital Coalition (CHC) aims to provide certainty in availability and access to medicine and address supply chain issues. Citing a 2019 survey of 330 American hospitals — including 29 children’s hospitals — Phlow says that medicine shortages disproportionately and uniquely impact children’s hospitals. The company also says that the pandemic has further exposed the vulnerabilities of the supply chain.
“These hospitals have come together alongside Phlow in order to ensure that all children will have access to the critical medicines necessary to sustain life and conquer disease,” said Dr. Eric Edwards, co-founder, president and CEO of Phlow, in a phone interview Thursday afternoon. “Children’s hospitals are directly impacted by essential medicine shortages, and many manufacturers have not been able to produce key medicines that are specially formulated … for children.”
The 11 founding hospital members of the CHC are: Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock, Arkansas; Boston Children’s Hospital; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; Children’s Hospital of Richmond; Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C; Children’s Wisconsin in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Cincinnati Children’s; Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas; Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
“We’re working quickly to ensure a high-quality, reliable supply chain,” Edwards says. “Essential medicine shortages can lead to medication shortages. It can compromise or delay medical procedures, and it can increase costs for a hospital system.”
In May 2020, Phlow was awarded a $354 million, four-year federal contract from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to produce the essential medications using advanced manufacturing processes from the Medicines for All Institute based at VCU’s College of Engineering.
Phlow is in a partnership with Utah-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Civica Inc., which plans to invest $124.5 million to establish its North American manufacturing headquarters operation in Petersburg, creating 186 jobs and manufacturing injectable medicines for the treatment of COVID-19. A nonprofit generic drug company, Civica was established in 2018 by a group of U.S. health systems and philanthropic organizations to address chronic generic drug shortages and related price spikes. More than 50 health systems are Civica members.