We must stop importing medication from China

If there's a silver lining to the novel coronavirus, it's that our dependence on China for medication and medical devices has been brought to the fore (at least to those paying attention).

Our dependence on China for these vital supplies is insane for all the obvious reasons, not the least of which is how quickly we could be brought to our knees.  We must act now to break this dependence and start manufacturing medication here at home.

India, which manufactures most of the world's generic drugs, is already taking steps to reduce its reliance on ingredients from China (here).  This point is worthy of a brief explanation.  Although a medication may be made in a certain country, the active and inactive ingredients for that medication almost always come from China.  So while China may not manufacture the final product, it holds the keys to production.

Not good.

But there's movement afoot in Congress to change that.  Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is leading the charge with legislation to break this dangerous cycle.  He is calling on Congress to pass an emergency spending bill connected to the coronavirus that will secure our supply chain of medication.  Congressmen Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Mike Pocan (D-Wis) have introduced similar legislation in the House (here).

Rosemary Gibson, author of China Rx, believes we could begin manufacturing medication in the United States in less than a year and that start-ups are poised to do so.  Yet nothing is happening.

Gibson has been sounding the alarm, which often falls on deaf ears.  She notes that funding for the coronavirus must also address our dependence on China for medication.  Breitbart reports:

Gibson characterized U.S. dependence on Chinese exports of medicines as a national security threat.  [snip]

Gibson added, "We need help because our manufacturing base has just been decimated. It's collapsed, for the most part, especially making these core ingredients. So that upfront investment, the federal government would recoup a significant return on its investment if it jump-started advanced manufacturing of essential generic drugs here, and by the way, it's going to be a lifesaver for many people because we need those medicines. Our military needs them. Our veterans need them, and certainly, our strategic national stockpile [needs them], [as] 85 percent of the medicines in there, they depend to some degree on China."

"Six billion dollars of our money in the United States is going to China to pay for generic drugs to grow their industry as ours is collapsing here at home," estimated Gibson. "Taxpayers would be shocked. That's why we have to bring it back home and you use this as a way to jump-start production here in the United States, and good companies want to get going on it."

Please support legislative efforts to break our dependence on China for medication.  I don't think it's an overstatement to say our lives depend on a sea change with respect to where our drugs are made.  Let's make it happen.

Graphic credit: Needpix.

If there's a silver lining to the novel coronavirus, it's that our dependence on China for medication and medical devices has been brought to the fore (at least to those paying attention).

Our dependence on China for these vital supplies is insane for all the obvious reasons, not the least of which is how quickly we could be brought to our knees.  We must act now to break this dependence and start manufacturing medication here at home.

India, which manufactures most of the world's generic drugs, is already taking steps to reduce its reliance on ingredients from China (here).  This point is worthy of a brief explanation.  Although a medication may be made in a certain country, the active and inactive ingredients for that medication almost always come from China.  So while China may not manufacture the final product, it holds the keys to production.

Not good.

But there's movement afoot in Congress to change that.  Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is leading the charge with legislation to break this dangerous cycle.  He is calling on Congress to pass an emergency spending bill connected to the coronavirus that will secure our supply chain of medication.  Congressmen Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Mike Pocan (D-Wis) have introduced similar legislation in the House (here).

Rosemary Gibson, author of China Rx, believes we could begin manufacturing medication in the United States in less than a year and that start-ups are poised to do so.  Yet nothing is happening.

Gibson has been sounding the alarm, which often falls on deaf ears.  She notes that funding for the coronavirus must also address our dependence on China for medication.  Breitbart reports:

Gibson characterized U.S. dependence on Chinese exports of medicines as a national security threat.  [snip]

Gibson added, "We need help because our manufacturing base has just been decimated. It's collapsed, for the most part, especially making these core ingredients. So that upfront investment, the federal government would recoup a significant return on its investment if it jump-started advanced manufacturing of essential generic drugs here, and by the way, it's going to be a lifesaver for many people because we need those medicines. Our military needs them. Our veterans need them, and certainly, our strategic national stockpile [needs them], [as] 85 percent of the medicines in there, they depend to some degree on China."

"Six billion dollars of our money in the United States is going to China to pay for generic drugs to grow their industry as ours is collapsing here at home," estimated Gibson. "Taxpayers would be shocked. That's why we have to bring it back home and you use this as a way to jump-start production here in the United States, and good companies want to get going on it."

Please support legislative efforts to break our dependence on China for medication.  I don't think it's an overstatement to say our lives depend on a sea change with respect to where our drugs are made.  Let's make it happen.

Graphic credit: Needpix.