Senator Josh Hawley told Fox News that critical drug shortages in the United States are increasing as China dominates global supply chains and a deal that poses a national security threat. .
According to the Senate Office of Homeland Security and Government Affairs, drug shortages in the United States in 2022 increased by 30% from the previous year. Reports released last monthSome antibiotics, anesthetics, cancer drugs, emergency room supplies, and medicines for children are among the medicines facing shortages.
“We rely overwhelmingly on China for our critical medical supply chain,” said committee member Hawley. “You talk about dependence, you talk about national security threats. It is a threat to national security.”
“It is a direct threat to our independence and public health,” he said.
China controlling global drug supply chain threatens US national security: Hawley
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In some cases, 90% of key ingredients come from China or India, according to a Senate report.
“We rely overwhelmingly on China for our critical medical supply chain,” Hawley said. “If you look at the precursors, the major precursors for making medicines, the prescriptions that Americans rely on, 60% of them are made in China or India.”
A Missouri Republican told Fox News, “We should make these drugs, including the US precursors.” We can start by withdrawing the friendly trade agreements we gave them.”
The US Senate gave China most-favoured-nation status before Beijing joined the World Trade Organization. In practice, the United States is obliged to offer preferential treatment to China in terms of trade agreements and tariffs.
Hawley recently proposed a bill to be repealed China’s Most Advantageous Country’s Trade PositionThe law also “will impose high tariffs on imports from China,” he said. according to his office.
“During COVID, China threatened to withhold a key precursor drug, a key precursor component of cancer treatment,” Senator Hawley told Fox News. If so, our supply would have been halved. [Department of Veterans Affairs] to hospitals across the country overnight. ”
Additionally, the number of FDA-approved drug substance manufacturers based in China more than doubled between 2010 and 2015, according to a Senate report.
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Bringing domestic drug manufacturing back to the states is also gaining bipartisan momentum in the House.
Two Republicans and two Democrats launched the National Drug Manufacturing Commission last month. This “is intended to reduce America’s dependence on foreign adversaries, prevent potential supply chain disruptions, and ensure a steady supply of medicines in the event of a public health emergency or natural disaster. “,” According to the press release.
“Currently, only about 10% of important prescription drugs or their precursors are manufactured in the United States, and 90% are manufactured elsewhere,” Hawley told Fox News. “Listen, it’s not only bad for patients, it’s bad for workers.”
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Bringing high-paying pharmaceutical jobs back to the U.S. would help the economy while reducing reliance on Chinese manufacturing, the senators said. However, the construction of domestic drug manufacturing facilities could take years and could pose a threat in case of future global conflicts.
“If we do nothing now, we will be ahead of the curve and at their mercy,” he told Fox News. We need to make these vital supplies that we depend on.”
To see Hawley’s full interview, click here.