Civica Rx, a nonprofit generic drug company founded in 2018, plans to produce low-cost insulin by early 2024, according to Virginia Business.
The company’s manufacturing plant is under construction in Petersburg. It plans to manufacture three forms of insulin priced at $30 per vial. Its 140,000-square-foot, $124.5 million Petersburg production facility will start operating in early 2024.
The manufacturing plant was initially built to produce COVID-19 medicines but not it will also be used for insulin manufacturing, according to a company representative. The company also plans to recruit 250 people for the plant.
Civica President and CEO Martin VanTrieste said, “We’ve had a bunch of large donors who are very concerned about diabetes and the cost of insulin come to us and ask us to [manufacture] insulin.”
He said the $30 insulin vials will cost “about 90% [less] than today’s list price,” adding, “as you know, the list price is a price no one pays unless you have no insurance.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to cap insulin prices at $35 per month or 25% of an insurance plan’s negotiated price.
In the United States, insulin prices doubled from 2012 to 2016, according to the Health Care Cost Institute.
Civica is teaming up with Richmond-based Phlow Corp. and Rancho Cordova to produce COVID-19 drugs as part of a federal initiative to create a domestic supply chain for critical pharmaceuticals and ingredients, per Virginia Business.
Recently, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine visited the plant, discussing drug costs and workforce training initiatives.
Kaine, who supports the $35 out-of-pocket cap on insulin costs, believes that producing medications domestically will help lighten the country’s dependence on Chinese drug manufacturers.
He said, “I think most of us feel better about the quality when it’s made here at home. You don’t have to assume that China’s a bad actor, [but] in the next pandemic, they are naturally going to prioritize producing pharmaceuticals for their own population.”