Missouri’s Hawley: “We have allowed our medical supply chain to be compromised”

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Missourinet)– Missouri’s junior senator is demanding answers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the coronavirus and its potential impact on drug and medical devices.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R), who serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, spoke to Missourinet this week about a bill he’s filed. It’s aimed at securing the U.S. medical product supply chain.

“The bill would secure our medical supply chain for key antibiotics and medical devices that are made now unfortunately in China,” Hawley says. “And the truth is that we have allowed our medical supply chain to be compromised.”

Hawley tells Missourinet that his “Medical Supply Chain Security Act” is aimed at ensuring that Americans have uninterrupted access to life-saving drugs and medical devices. He says the coronavirus outbreak in China highlights severe weaknesses in our medical supply chain.

“And in the long run, we need to not only secure that supply chain, we’ve got to bring it back,” says Hawley. “We need it back here in the United States, and this bill would be a step forward.”

Senator Hawley has written a letter to the FDA, saying the degree to which some American manufacturers rely on China to produce life-saving medications is inexcusable.

Hawley says the outbreak has threatened the domestic supply of about 150 prescription drugs, some of which don’t have alternatives on the market. He wants FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn to testify.

President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency for the coronavirus, and Congress this week approved $8.3 billion in emergency funding to assist both federal and state governments with the disease. About $4 billion of that funding will go toward making diagnostic tests more broadly available.

Hawley’s colleague, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R), will be at the Jordan Valley Health Center in Springfield on Friday morning to update reporters about the congressional funding package.

Senator Blunt expects Missouri to receive at least $9.9 million. Blunt will be joined on Friday morning by Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield.

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