Reps. introduce bill to break American dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals
UPDATED 10:50 AM PT – Friday, August 13, 2021
A bipartisan duo has come together to push back against China’s growing influence and help the American pharmaceutical industry recover from foreign control. This week, Reps. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) introduced H.R. 5003, a bill aimed at decreasing American dependence on often-contaminated Chinese pharmaceuticals.
While the problem has existed for decades, the shock to the medical infrastructure system caused by the coronavirus, brought to light how devastating it can be to a nation that must depend on other nation’s products and mood in order to survive. According to the pair, 80 percent of U.S. pharmaceuticals come from overseas manufacturers and distributors.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent report on antibiotic prescriptions showed that penicillin is the most commonly prescription antibiotic class with nearly 59 million prescriptions written in 2019 alone. However, the U.S. hasn’t domestically produced penicillin since 2004.
— Bill Posey (@congbillposey) August 10, 2021
Yet, this isn’t the first time Posey has raised the alarm regarding America’s dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals. During the last legislative session, Posey introduced the Safe Medicine Act and explained to the House China Task Force exactly how serious the issue is.
Posey went on to add that not only does China have a near monopoly on the U.S. pharmaceutical supply, but they are willing to use it as a retaliatory measure if they so choose. Posey warned a similar fate could await the U.S. if immediate action isn’t taken. His evidence to the task force appeared compelling as Ohio Rep. David Joyce (R) commended Posey for his work and asked to co-sponsor the bill.
Meanwhile, H.R. 5003 has been introduced and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and in addition to the Committees on Armed Services, Veterans’ Affairs and Ways and Means.