Piedmont Healthcare has joined Civica, a new nonprofit generic drug company with a goal of reducing chronic drug shortages in the United States, Piedmont announced Thursday.

Launched last year, Civica supplies its members at least 14 drugs commonly used by hospitals in emergency care, surgery, pain management and in treating hypertension. More recently, Civica announced it would begin providing two antibiotics through a partnership with Xellia Pharmaceuticals.

“At Piedmont, as a nonprofit, we take the responsibility of local access to care … extremely seriously,” Piedmont Healthcare President and CEO Kevin Brown said. “Not only will our membership in Civica allow us to ensure that our front-line care providers have the drugs they need. … It also means we will be able to do so in a cost-conscious manner.”

Spending on drugs per hospital admission increased by 18.5% between fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2017, according to a joint report from the American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists released last winter.

The study also found almost 80% of hospitals indicating they found it extremely hard to obtain drugs experiencing shortages. Nearly 80% said drug shortages resulted in increased spending on drugs.

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