U.S. Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said the United States should rely less on China for pharmaceutical drugs, especially because of the coronavirus, and she will file legislation Wednesday to help make that happen.
Blackburn said this on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.
“When illness does afflict our communities like coronavirus, it is important to take stock of what that ripple effect is going to mean and what it will be, and, in this case, our dependence on China for prescription drugs coming into focus. I have been working for several weeks now on legislation that we are going to formally introduce tomorrow (Wednesday). It is called the Securing America’s Medicine Cabinet Act. Or the SAMC Act,” Blackburn said.
“It will encourage innovation to bring drug manufacturing back to the United States. When it comes to the markets, economists are looking at Chinese exports and supply chains. U.S. manufacturers and companies can plan for that and implement long-term solutions, like my bill, that will encourage advance manufacturing and processing back onto U.S. shores. We are looking forward to filing this bill tomorrow. It is legislation that we have worked on in a bipartisan manner and we look forward to moving this forward and seeing our key pharmaceutical ingredients into those processes coming back to U.S. shores.”
Blackburn did not elaborate on the specifics of the bill.
On Tuesday Tennessee Department of Health officials said the state had seven known cases of coronavirus — one each in Davidson, Shelby, and Sullivan counties and four additional cases in Williamson County.
“TDH will release counties of residence for all confirmed cases, but will not include further identifying factors like age or gender as we balance transparency with our obligation to lawfully protect patient privacy,“ said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, in a press release.
“While the department’s standard protocol for outbreaks is to announce information by region, we understand COVID-19 is an evolving situation presenting unique concerns for our communities.”
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