Drew Quality Group exists to serve the pharmaceutical needs of the patient. Specifically, we endeavor to provide patients with the highest-quality generic drugs at the lowest possible price. Our primary focus is alleviating generic drug shortages, and, when warranted and possible, providing an alternative source to those generic medications that are significantly overpriced. Ultimately, it is our objective to work toward a day when all desired generic drugs are readily available at reasonable prices. Poor and low-income families in America suffer the most from drug shortages and over-priced medications. Indeed, mortality rates in some health centers serving inner city ghettos and poor, remote rural regions resemble statistics normally attributed to
impoverished third world countries. Many of these patients cannot afford to fill their prescriptions and often have no access to a lower-priced alternative drug even when such an alternative exists. This is where all of the attendant problems of drug shortages, price gouging and underfunded/over stressed health facilities come together to produce some truly horrible outcomes, including unnecessary deaths. If we are to conquer the generic drug supply issues in America, it must begin here, at ground zero, with the availability of generic drugs at reasonable costs and viable alternatives to drastically over-priced generic drugs prescribed for specific conditions and diseases. This solution requires a singular commitment to putting patients above profits, which is what DQG is about. We understand that an organization’s mission can drift over time, especially as it grows larger and more powerful. In keeping with the philosophy of living our values, any new member of the Drew Quality Group senior leadership team will be asked to spend one year before they are promoted working at public charity that provides direct services, such as
health centers or social services groups serving the poor and underserved. DQG will pay the individual their salary during this period. We believe that in order to preserve the integrity of our mission, all members of the senior leadership team must fully comprehend the human cost of drug shortages and highly inflated drug prices. There is no better way to accomplish this than providing the first-hand experience with the staff and families coping
with these challenges.
Why a Non-profit?
On the surface, the primary difference between a profit making and a non-profit
enterprise lies in how surpluses or profits are treated. The profit-making company
exists to make money and, to the extent that it succeeds in this mission, profits
either go to reward the principals and stockholders or are held as retained earnings. The non-profit exists to fulfill a mission that usually has little or nothing to do with making money. In contrast, when the activities of the non-profit generate surplus income, this “positive fund balance” is either set aside to cover future expenses or used to retire debt. Benefit does not accrue to principals or shareholders, of which there are none, but to the organization itself as a resource for enhancing and
extending its mission. The provisions for handling surplus income that define the non-profit model will work well in this situation. DQG's purpose as an organization is to produce the highest quality generic drugs and sell them at the lowest possible prices, while at the same time enhancing the lives of the people it employs and the communities in which it operates. Stockholders and the board of directors of a profit-making company would never use their surpluses in this way. Drew management is committed to taking every step necessary to guarantee quality. Stockholders might consider some of these measures to be excessive and unnecessary. They undoubtedly would point to other manufacturers that do not go to such lengths yet have no repercussions from the FDA or patients. Drew is also committed to locating its production facilities in the US, specifically in areas of high unemployment resulting from the loss of manufacturing jobs, whereas most generic drug manufacturing facilities serving the US market are either in part or entirely located in India, China, and other countries. Moreover, in contrast to eighty percent of those generic drugs that are produced here but use active or inactive ingredients purchased from overseas, Drew will source all of their ingredients from manufacturers within the US. As a non-profit, they will be able to produce some drugs, particularly those that treat rare but life-threatening diseases, at a loss.
Despite its non-profit status, Drew will need to follow the market in setting prices
for the drugs it produces. If they were to price a particular medication significantly below the range set by the market, it could destabilize the market for it and other medications in the same category, potentially inviting retaliation in one form or another from different manufacturers of the same product. Only if Drew were the sole manufacturer of a particular drug would they be free to set the price. However, if a specific drug that is widely prescribed and critical to the health of given patients is significantly overpriced, Drew might choose to produce that medication at a substantially lower cost.
By entering a highly profitable industry as a non-profit, Drew would be in the
unique position of generating a positive fund balance far more substantial than what
most non-profits could attain. This unusual situation is contrary to how we usually
think about profit vs. non-profit enterprises, i.e., non-profit companies are
considered to be appropriate for activities that do not yield income. However, in
more recent times this distinction has been blurred as non-profit hospitals, for
example, have merged and expanded into dominant players in the healthcare
market that can generate significant surplus income.
Nothing is more fundamental to an organization than its culture, whether it be a
profit-making or a non-profit enterprise. How it sees itself, how it believes others
should or must interact with it, what its obligations are to its customers are all
stirred in and set during its incumbency. The profit motive has been paramount in
the pharmaceutical industry since its inception, and indeed this model worked for many years. But with the taking of ever-larger profits, the culture of this industry has come into direct conflict with the needs of its patients. As a non-profit, Drew aims to create an organizational culture where the needs of patients always come first. DQG's mission is to provide patients with those medications that they need to be healthy or even in some cases, to survive.
The financial surpluses that Drew will realize will allow them not only to expand
production but also to become a force for positive change and development within the communities where they operate. They will be in a unique position to repurpose and reactivate abandoned mill sites in areas of high unemployment; recruit and train workers from the region; seek suppliers from a fifty-mile radius; and provide education, training and the possibility for advancement to all employees. In addition to doing a lot of good, these endeavors would also ensure the viability of Drew’s non-profit status against any possible challenges from for-profit competitors who might seek to undermine their efforts.