Reps. Brooks, Eshoo introduce Prescription for American Drug Independence Act
U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced legislation that would establish a committee of experts to analyze the impact of U.S. dependence on the foreign manufacturing of lifesaving drugs.
The Prescription for American Drug Independence Act would require the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene this expert committee. The committee would make recommendations to Congress within 90 days to ensure the U.S. has a diverse drug supply chain to adequately protect the country from natural or hostile occurrences.
“The United States has long been dependent on foreign drug manufacturers with potentially severe consequences for our domestic supply chains and ingredients for components of our pharmaceutical products, especially during this pandemic,” Brooks said. “Whether we’ve experienced drug shortages or supply chain disruptions, we recognize there is a huge issue and Congress must work to fix it. This bipartisan legislation will take rapid steps to ensure the United States has better visibility into our own pharmaceutical supply chain.”
Eshoo said the nation’s overreliance on the foreign production of critical drugs and their ingredients has led to drug shortages and subpar quality.
“The U.S. currently is dependent on China for the key ingredients in antibiotics and blood pressure medications,” Eshoo said. “Our country is also dependent on foreign manufacturing of our supply of generic drugs, which represents up to 90% of the prescriptions that Americans take,” said Eshoo. “Our fragile supply chain has long been a problem, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now an emergency. The U.S. must have a national strategy to eliminate foreign dependence for critical drugs and with it, Congress can move quickly to act on the recommendations of the experts.”