America is finally energy independent, which means we no longer have to depend on potentially hostile, terror supporting nations for oil, and that is great.
Now we need to apply those same principles to the production of pharmaceutical products. For far too long, we have depended upon China for this, and now that we are in this emergency over Coronavirus, we can see the issue more clearly.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas has a plan.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
Tom Cotton Debuts Plan to Take Pharma Production Back From China
Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) introduced legislation Thursday to repatriate pharmaceutical manufacturing from China to America, aiming to reduce a dependency that could seriously limit the U.S. coronavirus response.
The bill, which Cotton introduced with Rep. Mike Gallagher (R., Wis.), aims to severely curtail the volume of Chinese active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from the U.S. medical drug supply. The PRC currently produces most of the world’s APIs—the “active ingredients” in commonly used drugs—leaving the United States and other nations critically dependent on it for medicines.
Cotton’s is just the latest proposal to onshore pharmaceutical supply chains, including a similar one from Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and rumblings from the White House about a “buy American” executive order.
Prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, many are beginning to see the cost-savings from Chinese-made pharmaceuticals as not worth the risk of undersupply during another pandemic, or during a potential conflict with America’s main geostrategic rival.
“China unleashed this plague on the world, and China has to be held accountable,” said Cotton during a Fox News interview Wednesday evening. “It’s too grave a threat to let our health rest on Chinese drugs.”
Cotton has described the plan in detail.
From his Senate website:
Cotton, Gallagher Introduce Bill to End U.S. Dependence on Chinese-Manufactured Pharmaceuticals
Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) will tomorrow introduce the Protecting our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain from China Act, which would end U.S. dependence on China for pharmaceutical manufacturing.
The bill’s key restrictions would go into effect in 2022 and have no impact on the current coronavirus pandemic. No FDA resources will be diverted to begin implementation. Specifically, the bill will:
1. Track active pharmaceutical ingredients through an FDA registry.
2. Prohibit pharmaceutical purchases from China or products with active pharmaceutical ingredients created in China*.
3. Create transparency in the supply chain by instituting a country of origin label of all imported drugs.
4. Provide economic incentives for manufacturing drugs and medical equipment in the United States.
It’s time to do this.