Hospital Groups, Healthcare Foundations Form Generic Drug Company

Three U.S. healthcare foundations and seven hospitals groups have formed a generic drug company to combat high prices and chronic shortages of medicines.

The company, Civica Rx, will start with 14 widely used hospital drugs, including generic pills, patches and injectable drugs for treating infections, pain and heart conditions, board chairman Dan Liljenquist said, the Associated Press reported.

"The mission of Civica is to make sure these drugs remain in the public domain, that they're available and affordable to everyone," he said.

The Salt Lake City area-based company will make some of the medicines itself and hire companies to produce others, Liljenquist said. It plans to have its first medicines on the market by mid- to late 2019, the AP reported.

Along with creating a stable supply of medicines for its 500 hospitals, Civica seeks to cut drug prices by about 20 percent. The drugs will also be available to nonmember hospitals, but at slightly higher prices, Liljenquist said.

Drug shortages have been common in the U.S. for more than a decade, particularly for generic drugs, the AP reported.

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