May 19, 2024
The hidden perils of drugs imported from China
US trade negotiators should anticipate China playing hardball with America’s medical supply chain. Now is the time to preempt that threat.
US trade negotiators should anticipate China playing hardball with America’s medical supply chain. Now is the time to preempt that threat.

When you pick up your prescription at the pharmacy, it isn’t labelled “made in China,” but odds are that’s where many of your medications come from.

President Trump is calling on US industries to manufacture here at home, instead of outsourcing to China. Drug companies — which now rely on China for active ingredients that go into antibiotics, heart medicines and other drugs we need to stay alive — should be the first to respond to Trump’s plea.

That reliance is a threat to national security. And the squalid conditions in many Chinese drug factories pose a health risk to Americans who have to take the medicines.

The United States wouldn’t outsource the manufacture of fighter planes and tanks to China; that would put our national security in the hands of an adversary. But even US military personnel take medications from China.

US factories no longer make generic antibiotics. So, if US-China tensions worsen, China could cut off antibiotic exports, throwing our hospitals into turmoil, warns Hastings Center health expert Rosemary Gibson.

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See Also:

(1) Coronavirus Outbreak Exposes China’s Monopoly on U.S. Drug, Medical Supplies

(2) U.S. officials worried about Chinese control of American drug supply

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