Carter, Miller seek to secure U.S. pharmaceutical independence

U.S. Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Carol Miller (R-WV) recently offered a bipartisan bill to mitigate drug shortages and provide incentives for maintaining, expanding, and relocating the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), medical diagnostic devices, pharmaceuticals, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the United States. 

“We simply can no longer be dependent on our enemies for anything, especially essential medications and medical supplies,” Rep. Carter said. “America must secure pharmaceutical independence.”

“The success of the United States supply chain can be our best asset in deterring China and other adversaries,” Rep. Miller said. “Fixing the vulnerabilities in our supply chain bolsters domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing, enhances our national security, and lowers costs for Americans.” 

Rep. Carter on April 19 sponsored the Manufacturing API, Drugs, and Excipients (MADE) in America Act, H.R. 2707, with 11 original cosponsors, including Rep. Miller and U.S. Reps. Troy Balderson (R-OH) and Darren Soto (D-FL).

“The pandemic showed us that the U.S. should lead and prioritize domestic manufacturing of drugs, API, PPE, and diagnostics,” said Rep. Soto. “The MADE in America Act will help uplift manufacturers and provide the resources to make the process beneficial for them as well.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approximately 72 percent of API used in the U.S. drug supply chain are manufactured in more than 150 countries, with 13 percent coming from China. The U.S. is also dependent on other countries for PPE, with roughly 95 percent of surgical masks and 70 percent of tighter-fitting respirators, such as N95 masks, being made overseas, the FDA says.

If enacted, H.R. 2707 aims to prevent U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain dependence on China and other foreign adversaries, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers. 

“With China spying on Americans, threatening an invasion of Taiwan, and ignoring human rights, it is clear America cannot continue to rely on them for life-saving medications,” said Rep. Carter.

H.R. 2707, he said, “is designed to significantly reduce the advantage that foreign adversaries provide and encourage companies to maintain, expand, or relocate their production activities back to the United States and its territories through a tax credit that will serve the most disadvantaged communities in our nation.”

The legislation has been referred to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee for consideration.

“The MADE in America Act is necessary to keep our medical supply chain competitive and promote job creation in the United States,” added Rep. Miller.