Securing our medical supply chains


A person in a suit Description automatically generated with medium confidenceThe pandemic revealed gaping holes and vulnerabilities in our supply chains – perhaps none more critical than our medical supply chain.

Right now, the United States is dependent on other countries for a range of pharmaceutical products, including what are known as active pharmaceutical ingredients that are essential to making lifesaving generic prescription drugs.

Generic drugs make up 90 percent of all prescriptions filled in the United States, and about 87 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients used in those drugs are made overseas.

In an emergency, it’s difficult to keep these overseas supply chains intact, which could threaten Ohioans’ ability to get the medications they need.

That’s why I introduced the bipartisan PREPARE Act, which would create an emergency, domestic supply of key ingredients used in essential generic medicines.

It would also put a priority on domestic manufacturing of these ingredients so we can build a more resilient supply chain here in the U.S. and support the work pharmaceutical companies are already doing here in Ohio. They are manufacturing life-saving drugs, shortening supply chains, and creating jobs in Ohio at the same time.

There’s no reason we should rely on countries like China or India for nearly 90 percent of these critical pharmaceutical ingredients, when we have talented scientists and manufacturers here in Ohio.

The PREPARE Act will ensure that Americans are able to access essential drugs in an emergency, and support manufacturing of these lifesaving medicines in America.

We need to learn the lessons of COVD-19, and make sure we are better prepared for future emergencies. And we can’t forget what’s at the center of all this – keeping Americans safe and healthy.

Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) represents the state in the U.S. Senate.

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