Pills in bottle Generics havebecome available in increasingly short supply as manufacturerschase profits on higher-priced medications rather than productionon generic versions.

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In an effort to counteract the rising prices and shortages of generic drugs, Civica Rx andXellia Pharmaceuticals have teamed up to produce the antibioticsvancomycin and daptomycin for Civica's members.

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Modern Healthcare reports that those antibiotics, used to treatcritically ill patients with infections resistant to otherantibiotics, are the first on Civica's list of 14 genericmedications the partnership plans to produce this year.

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Related: Health systems' generic-drug venture gaining steam(and new members)

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As the venture kicks off, Civica Rx is working with holders of“abbreviated new drug applications,” or ANDAs. According to ModernHealthcare, these groups have the “manufacturing capability andcapacity to produce antibiotics, anesthetics, cardiac medications,pain management medications and other essential sterile injectablemedicines used in hospitals daily.” Once the next phase begins, itintends to develop its own ANDAs and finally to buy or build itsown manufacturing facilities.

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Member hospitals sign up for five- to ten-year contracts tosustain the lower prices Civica negotiates with manufacturers.

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Generics have become available in increasingly short supply asmanufacturers chase profits on higher-priced medications ratherthan production on generic versions. Those manufacturers who remainhike prices, confronting consumers with a double whammy of higherprices for generics—and the possibility of not being able to getthem no matter the price. The partnership is designed to keepgenerics flowing at lower prices to Civica's members.

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“We've lost balance,” Jeff Rosner, senior director of pharmacycontracting and purchasing at the Cleveland Clinic, told ModernHealthcare in January. “It's a lot more profitable to makea contracted drug for a branded company as opposed to makinggeneric drugs.”

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Not being able to find generics when needed not only introducesadditional risk into the health equation, through delayed orcanceled treatments, but also eats a lot of time as hospitals tryto find safe and high-quality alternate sources.

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According to Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, executive vice presidentand chief clinical officer, Providence St. Joseph Health, a Civicafounding member, has already had to cope with shortages of certaindosages of vancomycin and daptomycin. Having to tweak availabledosages instead of being able to provide the right one makestreatment riskier. “You are setting things up to fail,” she toldModern Healthcare. “The crisis we have at the moment isaffordability. We pushed back against these crazy rates ofinflation in drug prices. We just can't do it. We have got tochange the discussion so we're just not victims of circumstance. Wewill do it ourselves.”

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