Health security is critical to national security. The Covid-19 pandemic is a moment to re-evaluate U.S. dependence on China for pharmaceutical ingredients and to solidify the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Countries around the world are scrambling to source more ventilators for patients infected with coronavirus, but doctors fear that these will be useless without essential drugs to keep patients comfortable, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism | April 9, 2020
US health regulators are telling drugmakers to immediately pull their popular heartburn drugs off the market after determining that a contamination issue with the medications poses a greater risk than previously thought.
Some prescription drugs Americans rely on every day, including antibiotics, come from China or depend on ingredients that are made there. The coronavirus outbreak and measures to prevent its spread have disrupted manufacturing in China, taking factories offline that are only now slowly ramping back up. That’s all increased fears of potential drug shortages in the United States.
There’s something about human nature that prevents us from preparing for this for abrupt and radical change. We pretend the unexpected will never happen. But there’s something in nature itself that reminds us it inevitably will. It’s always a terrifying realization. The rise of the Chinese coronavirus is that kind of moment. The virus is quickly becoming a global pandemic. Ultimately, it could kill millions.
The coronavirus outbreak is sparking fears of drug shortages in the U.S., largely due to its disruption of pharmaceutical supplies from China and India. The Food and Drug Administration has warned of shortages in one drug due to the coronavirus, while penicillin shipments to the U.S. from China have dried up.
BENGALURU/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India, the world’s main supplier of generic drugs, has restricted the export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients and the medicines made from them, including Paracetamol, a common pain reliever also sold as acetaminophen, as the coronavirus outbreak plays havoc with supply chains.
Until about the third week of January, only a few pharmaceutical executives, drug-safety inspectors and dogged China hawks cared that a large share of the world’s supply of antibiotics depends on a handful of Chinese factories.
The Economist | Chaguan, China | February 29, 2020
The Food and Drug Administration is stepping up its monitoring of the drug supply for potential shortages, including 20 products that may be at risk due to the coronavirus outbreak that has shut down much of China and is raising concerns about the nation’s convoluted and highly outsourced pharmaceutical supply chain.
In the 21st century, Americans have found it far too easy to be complacent about public health emergencies like the ongoing coronavirus outbreak of the newly named Covid-19 that began in China and has since spread to other countries, including the U.S.
China has become the world’s largest producer and exporter of “active pharmaceutical ingredients,” the base components drug companies use to manufacture most of the medications we rely on. China’s dominance puts both the health of Americans and our national security at risk.
Continuous manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is when all stages of a manufacturing process occur within one contained system. In other words, you put raw materials into a system, and they only exit that system as a final product.
Last month, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing on the United States’ growing reliance on China’s pharmaceutical products. The topic reminded me of a spirited discussion described in Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House.
China has become the world’s largest supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients, or API, providing key components to drugmakers worldwide. But a yearlong recall of tainted heart drugs taken by millions of Americans is prompting U.S. national security officials to ask whether China’s growing role in the pharmaceutical supply chain could pose a threat to the health of military personnel.
The world’s most expensive medicine is about to hit the market. A one-time treatment for a devastating infant muscle-wasting disease won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Friday. Its maker Novartis AG NVS +3.83% says the gene therapy will cost $2.125 million.
Recent advances in manufacturing technology have prompted the pharmaceutical industry to consider moving away from batch manufacturing to a faster, more efficient process known as continuous manufacturing.
The key ingredients for so many essential drugs, from antibiotics and birth control pills to treatments for cancer, depression, high cholesterol and HIV/AIDS, are purchased from China, says Rosemary Gibson, co-author with Janardan Prasad Singh of a new book called “ChinaRx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine.”