San Diego’s Gary and Mary West Foundation is helping get off the ground Civica RX, a new not-for-profit generic drug company with the goal of tackling shortages and high prices on life-saving medications.

The foundation contributed an initial $1 million to Civica, as well as $9 million in future loans. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Peterson Center on Healthcare each pledged the same.

Civica Rx said it seeks to ensure affordability and to stabilize the supply of essential generic medicines, many of which are affected by chronic shortages. The initial focus is on 14 hospital-administered generic drugs, but the company didn’t name which ones.

The company, headquartered in Utah, expects its first products to be released as early as next year.

In addition to the three foundations, initial governing members will include the U.S. hospital systems Catholic Health Initiatives, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic, Providence St. Joseph Health, SSM Health, and Trinity Health.

“The formation of CivicaRx is a direct challenge to generic drug companies who have sharply and unfairly raised prices on many off-patent drugs over the last several years,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of the Gary and Mary West Foundation. “We all pay a price, and lower-income patients shoulder a particularly heavy burden."

The Gary and Mary West Foundation funds a number of senior services.