With the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus, it has become clear that the US must not be dependent on China’s resources. Our pharmaceutical industry is one essential operation that currently relies on Chinese production. Congressional candidate, Kendall Qualls is running with a plan to end America’s reliance on Chinese manufactured pharmaceuticals. This will both ensure national security and protect public health.
Qualls states, “we should not rely on the whims of the Chinese Communist Party for essential pharmaceuticals”. Because the party entirely controls pharmaceutical production, they can use it as political leverage. Communist Party officials have already threatened to prohibit the United State’s access to pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, the Chinese government grows increasingly aggressive towards US allies in the South China Sea. Their hostility indicates that they are not the best asset to America’s interests. If the Chinese felt inclined, they could withhold essential medicine at any point and endanger the livelihood of millions of Americans.
China currently produces an exponential amount of the world’s raw vitamin and antibiotic substances. We depend on China to provide 80% of our generic medicines, 97% of our antibiotics, and the majority of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, vitamin C, and hydrocortisone. Without immediate access to these drugs, the United States faces a severe public health crisis. On top of that, they create and control distribution over a majority of the world’s mask and protective equipment supply. Additionally, the Chinese pharmaceutical industry is not well regulated. Neither the Chinese government nor FDA highly regulate drug production. The Chinese strictly allow a few American drug inspectors, but not nearly enough to ensure maximum levels of safety.
In response to China’s threats and lack of transparency, Kendall Qualls announced a plan to minimize our reliance on China. Quall’s plan seeks to accomplish five key steps. The first is to establish greater domestic pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturing. This way the safety and quality of materials can be assured. Secondly, remaining foreign manufactured goods would have ingredients tested, monitored, and tracked. Next, the FDA must be required to compile a list of all pharmaceuticals produced in China. Then, identify pharmaceuticals of critical importance and find new sources of supply. Fourthly, all drugs must include a label denoting its origin. Lastly, if China does not meet American standards of efficacy- we will no longer import those materials.
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