US senators demand review of drug supply chain after pandemic

US senators demand review of drug supply chain after pandemic

WASHINGTON (US) – Republican and Democratic US senators pressed the government for an analysis of foreign influence in the US pharmaceutical supply chain on Tuesday, saying the coronavirus pandemic has exposed an over-reliance on China and other countries for the production of essential medicines.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren will introduce the US Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Review Act on Tuesday.

The bill would require the government to study the effects of depending on foreign companies and foreign investment for the production of pharmaceuticals for the US market, and submit a report within a year.

“To defeat the current COVID-19 crisis and better equip the United States against future pandemics, we must take control of our supply chain and rely less on foreign countries for our critical drugs,” Warren said in a statement.

China is one of the countries that invests in US drug companies, but the senators also want to have a view of all foreign investment in the pharmaceutical industry, an aide said.

Republican President Donald Trump has long pledged to bring U.S. manufacturing back from overseas, but the coronavirus and concern about dependence on imports, particularly from China, has spurred a flurry of new activity.

Rubio, a leading congressional proponent of tougher China policy, said the report required by the bill would provide information necessary to address supply chain vulnerabilities and reduce overreliance on China for pharmaceuticals.

The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission and the Secretary of the Treasury, acting through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), to conduct the study.

(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field

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