WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Jason Smith’s (R-MO) amendment to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to begin the process of listing and securing critical medications the Federal Government should ensure are readily available for the American public in the event of another national health emergency.
Congressman Smith said that in light of what has transpired during the coronavirus outbreak, protecting and expanding our nation’s domestic drug supply is critical. He says this amendment is a blueprint for protecting the health of the American people, and incentivizing drug companies to manufacture their products in the United States.
“If the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we can no longer rely on adversarial nations for the life-sustaining medications Americans need,” said Congressman Smith. “Hostile authoritarian regimes—like the Chinese Communist Party—should never have the ability to decide which drugs the American people have access to. We cannot allow China to hold American lives in its hands.”
“My amendment will ensure we are properly informed about our pharmaceutical supply chains so that our National Strategic Stockpile has the critical drugs that Americans need in the event of another public health emergency,” Smith continued. “More importantly, this list of critical medications will show us where the vulnerabilities in our supply chain exist to serve as a blueprint for future work to address these underlying issues and put the American people back in control of our medical supply chain. Bringing pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States is one of President Trump’s top priorities, and this amendment will do exactly that."
Congressman Smith’s amendment was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. It now heads to the United States Senate for further consideration.