Sen. Cotton, Rep. Gallagher Aim To End US Dependence on China-Made Drugs with New Bill

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton says the United States relies too heavily on China for pharmaceuticals, so he proposed a bill last week that could put a stop to that dependency.
Cotton’s concerns came from the fact that the novel coronavirus originated in China before spreading to every corner of the globe. So he questioned why Americans should continue to rely on drugs coming out of the very country where the pandemic originated.
The “Protecting our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain from China Act” would change how the United States purchases pharmaceuticals from other countries and move the country to produce these medications on U.S. soil.
Cotton further expressed his concerns in an opinion piece for Fox News on Wednesday, written with Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, regarding the United State’s dependence on China for pharma products and China’s threat two weeks ago to cut off live-saving medical supplies to the U.S.
Gallagher has introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.

“Earlier this month, a Chinese Communist Party propaganda outlet insinuated that Beijing could cut off supplies of life-saving medicine to the United States at any time, dooming our country to ‘sink into the hell of a novel coronavirus epidemic,'” the Cotton/Gallagher piece began.
The Chinese Communist Party has threatened to cut off America's access to vital drugs in the midst of a pandemic caused by its own failures. It's time to pull America's supply chains for life-saving medicine out of China. 
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In early March, Yanzhong Huang, a Princeton University professor and a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted a link to a Chinese news outlet titled, “Be bold: the world owes China a thank you,”  which expressed sentiments similar to those that had alarmed Cotton.
Huang explained that the article says “if China imposes restrictions on pharmaceutical exports, US will be ‘plunged into the mighty sea of coronavirus.'”
China's Xinhua News just posted a piece titled "Be bold: the world owes China a thank you", which says if China imposes restrictions on pharmaceutical exports, US will be "plunged into the mighty sea of coronavirus". 
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According to Cotton and Gallagher, the percentage of ibuprofen that is imported into the U.S. from China is overwhelming — 93 percent. In an August 2019 piece for the Council on Foreign Relations, Huang wrote that  97 percent of antibiotics used in the United States come from China.
Because of the shocking percentages of pharmaceuticals made in the communist regime, Cotton and Gallagher wrote, they knew something had to change.
Their bill would initiate an FDA task force that would monitor where the active ingredients in prescription drugs are being created, and ban the United States from purchasing drugs with supply chains attached to China.

A labeling system would also be created, which would indicate what country the drugs are coming from, and there will be benefits available for manufacturers who create their drugs and other medical supplies in America.
The bill would not be implemented until 2022, and would not impact the current coronavirus outbreak.
“Emergencies like pandemics and wars break down previously dependable supply chains and relationships as nations start to fend for themselves. It’s sadly clear America gave up the ability to fend for ourselves in basic medicine long ago,” Cotton wrote.
The bill introduced by Cotton and Gallagher could be a game-changing step in winning more autonomy for American pharmaceuticals.

“We can begin to undo the damage now,” Cotton and Gallaher wrote. “The antidote to our dependence on Chinese drugs is to stop buying them and take back our ability to make basic medicine here in America.”
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