Press Release | CPA Urges Senate to Act on Drug Shortage During Coronavirus

March 12, 2020

U.S. must launch immediate manufacture of critical medicines

Washington. The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) is praising the Senate testimony by Rosemary Gibson. A CPA member and author of ‘China Rx,’ Ms. Gibson told a Senate committee that Congress must immediately fund the manufacture of generic drugs currently being rationed during the coronavirus outbreak. Many of these drugs—which are unavailable or in short supply—are needed to care for patients hospitalized with coronavirus.

CPA Chair Dan DiMicco said, “The coronavirus has shown America’s vulnerability to disruptions in global supply chains. The dominant global supplier of many of America’s daily medications has shut down production. That has put millions of lives at risk. We must start to produce these medications here at home.”

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ms. Gibson explained that the coronavirus has severely disrupted China’s production of key drug exports to the United States. China is also withholding exports of masks and other protective gear. Ms. Gibson said that small US businesses are prepared to begin production of critical generic drugs fully made in the United States using advanced manufacturing techniques. However, the emergency package currently before Congress does not include funding to launch the manufacture of generic drugs currently in short supply. 

In the past 30 years, much of America’s drug manufacturing has moved offshore, including the generic medications that comprise 90 percent of America’s daily needs. Thousands of these drugs are made with compounds and ingredients made in China. And 90 percent of the chemicals for generic drugs used to treat coronavirus infections are also sourced from China, including many common antibiotics.

Ms. Gibson urged Congress to eliminate America’s dependence on China for critical medicines. She explained that federal investment is needed to help small businesses jumpstart advanced manufacturing of critical generic drugs.  

Click here to read Ms. Gibson’s full Senate testimony.

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