VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Congresswoman Elaine Luria announced on Saturday that she is cosponsoring legislation that reduces the nation’s dependency on Chinese pharmaceuticals while identifying vulnerabilities in the medical supply chain.
The Strengthening America’s Supply Chain and National Security Act (H.R. 6393) directs the DOD to evaluate its reliance on imported medicines. Doing so will identify what products are made and from which countries, allowing to determine national security DOD vulnerabilities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the importance of assessing vulnerabilities within our medical supply chain from a national security perspective,” said Luria. “I am proud to join this bipartisan effort to reduce our dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals and utilize this data to rebuild our domestic production capacity.”
The evaluation would be due no later than one year from the enactment of the Act and will include the analyzed percent of pharmaceuticals used by the DOD; an assessment on whether the products can be obtained by other sources and reliance levels; evaluation of resilience and current supply chain capacity; and recommendations to move away from dependency.
Congressman Michael Waltz — representing Florida’s 6th congressional district — is the sponsor who introduced the bill on March 25.
“Coronavirus has unfortunately been a wake-up call to the danger of American reliance on a hostile foreign power like China for medical supplies,” Waltz said. “We must identify our supply chain vulnerabilities and build out domestic capacity to eliminate dependence on China and other nations, for the safety and health of all Americans.”
In addition to directing the DOD to analyze dependency levels, the bill gives the FDA information on the volume of active pharmaceutical ingredients used which is needed to determine the risk for drug shortages.
The Strengthening America’s Supply Chain and National Security Act is the House companion bill to the Senate’s S. 3538, introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Christopher Murphy (D-CT).
“This pandemic has further underscored the need to look at health care through a national security lens,” Senator Kaine said. “It’s critically important that we gain more knowledge of and control over our medical supply chains to reduce our reliance on other nations and ensure adequate supply in times of crisis. I’m proud of this bipartisan legislation that will allow our federal agencies to determine how the U.S. can strengthen our security and our supply chains.”
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