A major group of insurers said it would invest $55 million to create cheaper versions of expensive generic drugs for which there is little competition, in a further sign of dissatisfaction with the pharmaceutical industry’s price-setting practices.

The decision by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and 18 of its member organizations, which insure about 40 million people, is part of a partnership agreement with Civica Rx, a nonprofit that is already selling drugs used in hospitals to health systems around the country.

Frustrated with high drug prices, especially on essential medicines like insulin, state and federal lawmakers have signaled interest in manufacturing generic medications to try to lower costs for millions of Americans. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California recently floated a similar proposal, in which the state would contract with outside manufacturers to sell generic drugs under the state’s own label. And Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat seeking her party’s presidential nomination, has advanced a similar proposal….

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