Recently, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Deputy Commissioner Anand Shah wrote an op-ed stating that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of our medical supply chains like never before. This has lead to a surge in bipartisan interest and support for policies encouraging the production of many medicines in the US. The US drug supply chain has several glaring weaknesses:
- Chronic shortages of essential medicines have been present for over a decade.
- There have been serious quality control problems with drugs manufactured in developing countries such as China and India.
- Countries in which essential drugs are manufactured may arbitrarily restrict their export.
For these reasons lawmakers should ensure that the US is able to manufacture not only the finished products, but also the active ingredients for essential medicines. Doing so is not only a matter of providing the medicines Americans need when we need them—it’s a matter of national security.
(Source: Martin Van Trieste, Stat News, October 5,2020)