Tuesday September 22, 2020
Mar-08-2020 23:51TweetFollow @OregonNews
U.S. Reliance on China for Pharmaceutical and Personal Protective EquipmentRalph E. Stone, Salem-News.com Commentary
U.S. Reliance on China for Pharmaceutical and Personal Protective Equipment
(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - The Coronavirus (COVID-19) will also likely harm Americans indirectly because the U.S. is increasingly reliant on drugs either directly sourced from China or made from intermediate chemicals called Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), or their chemical precursors, manufactured in China.
While 90% of the finished drugs Americans take are generics, most are manufactured overseas, primarily in India and China. Even India, the world’s largest generics producer, relies on China for 80% of the APIs it uses in drug production.
China is not only the dominant global supplier of pharmaceuticals, but it is also the largest supplier of medical devices in the U.S. These include things like MRI equipment, surgical gowns, and equipment that measures oxygen levels in the blood.
Supplies of these essential pharmaceuticals and products so far have not yet been severely disrupted by the Coronavirus, but if China is no longer willing or able to supply them to the U.S., thousands of Americans could suffer.
Remember, since the COVID-19 outbreak, quarantine controls have closed factories, ports and whole cities across China.
This shows the danger of a China-only supplier and it could take years to develop the necessary infrastructure to reestablish U.S. manufacturing capacities and obtain Food and Drug Administration licensure to overcome the loss of the Chinese supply.
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