Xellia to produce antibiotics for hospital-backed Civica Rx  

Civica Rx, a group of hospitals committed to manufacturing their own drugs to battle shortages and high costs, has picked the first drugs it will make and the contractor to make them.

The operation says it has contracted with Denmark-based Xellia Pharmaceuticals to produce antibiotics, including vancomycin and daptomycin. The provider-owned operation announced earlier that it has agreements with CDMOs to manufacture 14 generic drugs in 2019, but this is the first of those drugs it has identified.

“By helping to stabilize the supply of vancomycin and daptomycin, we will have a direct impact on patient safety and public health by providing consistent access to antibiotics that are important treatment options in the management of difficult-to-treat and life-threatening infections,” Martin VanTrieste, president and CEO of Lehi, Utah-based Civica, said in a release.

Based in Copenhagen, Xellia specializes in anti-infectives. It has a U.S. manufacturing presence, having bought the former Boehringer Ingelheim sterile injectable plant in Ohio in 2015 where it can produce its own ingredients as well as sterile injectables for treating infections.

RELATED: Xellia expects ex-Boehringer sterile plant to be ready for production in 2018

Civica Rx was formed last year to help hospitals, which for years have had to battle drug shortages and price hikes. A shortage of simple saline solution has created a big headache for healthcare providers, while manufacturing issues at a Pfizer Hospira plant have led to shortages of intravenous pain drugs. The supply interruptions sometimes force hospitals to ration drugs or make decisions on which patients get certain drugs.

Experts representing providers said that even when supplies return to normal, they don't experience the price relief they would expect.

Drugmakers have responded by explaining that the margins on many drugs have been too thin for too many years and that the cost of upgrading manufacturing plants and supply chains has led to the need for higher prices.