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Children’s National Hospital joins 10 other leading children’s hospitals and Phlow Corp. to form coalition to address pediatric drug shortages

March 18, 2021

Children’s National Hospital joins in announcing the launch of a groundbreaking Children’s Hospital Coalition: Powered by Phlow (CHC). This first-in-kind coalition brings together some of the top children’s hospitals across the nation, in collaboration with Phlow, to provide certainty in availability and access for key medicines necessary to sustain life and conquer disease and to address the nation’s broken essential medicines supply chain.

Shortages of essential medicines for children are a persistent problem plaguing hospitals across the United States. A 2019 survey of 330 U.S. hospitals, including 29 children’s hospitals, demonstrated that medicine shortages disproportionately and uniquely impact children’s hospitals. (Vizient, 2020) The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed further vulnerabilities in the overall U.S. hospital supply chain, particularly regarding essential injectable medications. To address this issue, the CHC is charged with a mission to deliver on the promise of ensuring a reliable supply of high-quality, affordable essential medicines to treat children.

“Far too often, the health care needs of children are not a priority. The coalition will draw attention to this important issue of shortages of essential medicines and more importantly, start to fix the problem,” says Kurt Newman, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Children’s National. “I know we can do better for children who require these life-saving treatments and cures, and I’m proud to join this great group of organizations in developing an innovative solution.”

Currently, the 11 founding hospital members of the CHC are: Arkansas Children’s, Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Children’s National Hospital, Children’s Wisconsin, Cincinnati Children’s, Cook Children’s, Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“The pharmacists on my team are on the front lines of this struggle every day, so we know the need for this effort all too well,” says Eric Balmir, M.S., PharmD, C.I.M., vice president and chief pharmacy officer at Children’s National. “We’re proud to be part of the solution, working to ensure that every child has access to the essential medicines they need.”

The coalition is working together to further escalate this issue on the national agenda, to encourage children’s hospitals to join in this cause, and educate other hospitals on how this coalition will aid in ending shortages of essential medicines. Ultimately, the goal of the CHC is to increase the resiliency and reliability of the pediatric pharmaceutical supply chain. 

Children’s National is collaborating with the other hospitals to identify and prioritize the most needed essential medicines, including sterile injectable medicines and medications used to treat pediatric cancers and rare diseases. Phlow will work quickly to ensure a high-quality, reliable supply of these essential medicines and will provide transparent, cost-plus pricing for all coalition members under uniform long-term purchasing agreements. Through this collaboration, the CHC will work toward improving the delivery of pediatric care.

The founding members of the CHC, including Phlow, recognize that essential medicine supply is a critical problem nationwide and welcome new children’s hospital members to join in this bold initiative. Please visit Children's Hospital Coalition for more information on how to join the CHC.

Media contact: Diana Troese | 202-476-4500


About Children’s National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington, D.C., celebrates 150 years of pediatric care, research and commitment to community. Volunteers opened the hospital in 1870 with 12 beds for children displaced after the Civil War. Today, 150 years stronger, it is among the nation’s top 10 children’s hospitals. It is ranked No.1 for newborn care for the fourth straight year and ranked in all specialties evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Children’s National is transforming pediatric medicine for all children. In 2021, the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus will open, the first in the nation dedicated to pediatric research. Children’s National has been designated three times in a row as a Magnet® hospital, demonstrating the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty care locations in the D.C. metropolitan area, including the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and is the nation’s seventh-highest NIH-funded children’s hospital. It is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels.

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