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Rubio, Colleagues Introduce Bill to End U.S. Medical Supply Chain Dependence on China & Address Shortages

Oct 26, 2023 | Press Releases

In 2019, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released Made in China 2025 and the Future of American Industry, where he detailed critical vulnerabilities in America’s medical supply chain. The 2019 report warned of America’s overreliance on China for pharmaceutical production. This was proven during the COVID-19 pandemic when the United States experienced generic drug shortages and the further erosion of domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs.

Rubio and colleagues introduced a new version of the Further Strengthening America’s Supply Chains and National Security Act to combat America’s dependence on China for pharmaceuticals and to address associated supply chain risks that lead to shortages of critical drugs.

  • “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how vulnerable America’s supply chains are. Three years later, we continue to be victims of a pharmaceutical supply chain that has been sent overseas. We cannot continue down this path; that is why I am introducing the Further Strengthening America’s Supply Chains and National Security Act to put an end to America’s dependence on other countries for key drugs.”  – Senator Rubio

Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) are original cosponsors.

  • “We should never risk American lives by allowing our foreign adversaries, like China, to have control over critical parts of our pharmaceutical supply chain. The Strengthening America’s Supply Chain and National Security Act will decrease our reliance on other countries to produce pharmaceuticals and increase control over our own supply chain for these life-saving drugs. I’m glad to be partnering with Senator Rubio and our colleagues on this legislation.”  – Senator Rounds 
  • “Just like energy and critical minerals, we have shifted too much of our medical supply chains to China and India. Instead, we should prioritize pharmaceutical and ingredient production here at home. This bill supports patient access to the drugs they need from American manufacturers.” – Senator Cramer

U.S. Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL) will introduce companion legislation in the House. 

  • “Every day, thousands of Americans are struggling to fill their already overpriced prescriptions thanks to the drug shortages plaguing our country. To combat these shortages and skyrocketing drug prices, we must identify our supply chain vulnerabilities and build out a domestic capacity to produce high-quality, domestic pharmaceuticals. For the health and safety of Americans, our medical supply chains cannot continue to be in the hands of foreign entities, including our adversaries like China. We must demand more transparency over the manufacturing and quality of the drugs we import. That’s why I am proud to work with Senator Rubio to address these problems and fight to bring our drug supply chains home.”  – Congressman Waltz

Specifically, this legislation:

  • Closes the loophole created by the court decision in Acetris Health, LLC v. United States that allowed drugs with foreign active ingredients to qualify for government procurement as though they were drugs made in the United States;
  • Amends the foreign inspection risk factor list to improve oversight of facilities in China and other countries with questionable drug manufacturing quality standards; and
  • Requires drug makers to share more information with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about where pharmaceutical ingredients are sourced.

Flashback … Rubio originally introduced a version of this legislation as part of his plan unveiled in 2020 to address America’s supply chain risks. Since then, he passed a law that requires the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct an industrial capacity vulnerability study of the DoD’s dependence on foreign-made pharmaceuticals.