#1 Rosemary Gibson: Made-in-U.S.A. Drugs Can Be Produced Faster, Cheaper, Better than in China by algernonpj 21.05.2020 09:34


Rosemary Gibson: Made-in-U.S.A. Drugs Can Be Produced Faster, Cheaper, Better than in China
Robert Kraychik

20 May 2020

Drugs can be manufactured in America more quickly, efficiently, and with better quality control than in China, said Rosemary Gibson, senior adviser at the Hastings Center and author of China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, offering her comments in an interview on Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host John Hayward.

Gibson explained processes allowing for competitive domestic production of medicines relative to foreign competitors.

“We will have brilliant minds that will be using, for the first time, advanced manufacturing technology to make our basic medicines — these generic drugs — and they’ll make them faster, cheaper, with a smaller environmental footprint, and have real-time quality control,” Gibson said. “We’ll be doing all of that right here in the U.S.A.”

Gibson added, “There’s been a traditional way of making drugs. It’s like making it in batches, like you might make spaghetti sauce in batches, but this is a sort of continuous process that’s been used in the chemical industry for a hundred years.”


Gibson remarked, “In the pharma sector, there hasn’t been the innovation in how medicines are made, and with more of a continuous process, they can be made much faster, and you don’t need such a huge physical infrastructure. You still need large facilities, but you have a smaller facility footprint because the process is so much more efficient.”

Gibson went on, “I’ll give you an example of how this works on a small scale. There’s technology now where — and it’s my lay term — it’s in a washing machine-sized box that these incredible engineers and chemists are making a thousand doses of an antibiotic in a lab in 24 hours, and we have the opportunity, eventually, to take this to scale.”

“This is bringing new advanced manufacturing to a sector that has not invested in it but, with support of public and private sectors, that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” added Gibson.

Gibson estimated, “This is starting a revolution in our country, and I’m hoping that more companies here in the United States will want to step up to the plate. Even better, [Phlow] is a company that is now a public benefit corporation, and it started the process to be a B corporation and that means [the company must] have a social mission [and] make a contribution to society.”

Gibson shared, “I was asked to be an independent unpaid director to ensure that the company fulfills this mission for society. This is not something where we want taxpayers to be gouged on their drugs — this has happened too much in our country — and so it’s great to see people that want to do things for the right reasons.”

On Tuesday, the White House announced its awarding of a $354 million contract with Phlow, a pharmaceutical manufacturer located in Richmond, VA, to manufacture medicines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government’s contract with Phlow includes a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University and Civica Rx, noted Gibson.

Gibson said, “[Civica Rx] is a non-profit group that is a consortium of about 1,300 hospitals, started by the Mayo Clinic and others. These private hospitals want to buy medicines that aren’t made in China, and so they could be a customer of the products that would be produced in this plant.”

Gibson continued, “So we have the federal government that’s going to be asking these folks to make drugs for the Strategic National Stockpile, and they’ll also be making products for private hospitals in the United States. It’s a great public-private partnership, and I hope more federal agencies will come on board, and I hope that more hospitals and other private sector purchasers of medicines will eventually see the wisdom of buying medicines made in America.”

Gibson explained how China’s mercantilist policies had destroyed much of America’s domestic pharmaceutical production.

“We opened up free trade with China in 2000,” stated Gibson, “and within a couple of years of that free trade agreement with China being signed, that’s when the last penicillin plant in the U.S. closed. That’s when the last aspirin plant closed. We can’t make it anymore. The last vitamin C plant closed.”

Gibson went on, “Bad trade deals, and China came in and cheated. They dumped [drugs] at below-market prices. They kept them low for several years, and they drove out American business as you can’t compete. If you and I want to set up a business tomorrow to make medicines, China could come in the next day and undercut us and drive us out of business.”

Contracts between domestic drug manufacturers and large institutional purchasers of medicines are the ideal strategy to restore U.S. pharmaceutical production and counter China’s predatory pricing, determined Gibson.

U.S.-based drug companies need “contracts with the government [and] with hospitals that lock in a fair price,” concluded Gibson, “not too low so we can’t keep our machines running properly, but not too high to gouge taxpayers and the public. Those long-term contracts [provide] an agreement that we’re going to work together to supply quality medicine. Once you have those, China can’t undercut those.”

A restoration of domestic generic drug manufacturing would create “hundreds of thousands of good-paying STEM jobs,” added Gibson.


One of my peeves is that not only pharma, but other corporate invested in new technology that makes workers more productive only when they moved out of the country to a cheap desperate labor source.
I suspect part of the reason was a lower regulatory burden and part was increasing profits by nano cents.

#2 RE: Rosemary Gibson: Made-in-U.S.A. Drugs Can Be Produced Faster, Cheaper, Better than in China by algernonpj 21.05.2020 09:40


Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Trump Administration Moves to Secure U.S. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Written by James Murphy

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the United States is overly dependent on other nations — especially China — when it comes to vital pharmaceutical supplies. On Monday, the Trump administration made a bold move to address that issue by signing a $354 million contract with an American pharmaceutical company to create the nation’s first strategic stockpile of key ingredients to make vital medications.

Phlow Corporation, a generic drug manufacturer based in Richmond, Virginia, has been awarded a contract to manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients, chemical compounds, and generic drugs, some of which can be used to treat hospital patients who are suffering from the COVID-19 virus.

The contract was awarded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and could be extended to 10 years at a cost of $812 million, which would make it the largest contract ever awarded by BARDA.

Going forward, Phlow will manufacture drugs in cooperation with non-profit pharmaceutical company Civica Rx, Virginia Commonwealth University, and AMPAC Fine Chemicals, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

“We’re talking about critical medicines that are used to place patients on the ventilator. They are medicines such as key antibiotics as well as medicines for pain management,” said Dr. Eric Edwards, the CEO and co-founder of Phlow Corp.

According to Edwards, the contract was being discussed with the Trump organization as early as last November but became fast-tracked when COVID-19 hit.

“We have a short-term and a long-term solution. We know that there are certain key essential generic medicines that are going to go into shortage if this thing starts spreading,” Edwards said.

Phlow has already produced 1.6 million doses of five drugs essential in treating COVID-19 and added them to the nation’s strategic stockpile.

“Long before COVID-19 existed, there were many drugs already on the FDA drug shortage list. We’re talking about 100 medicines and many of these were essential medicines critical for maintaining the life of Americans,” Edwards said.

Phlow Corporation had been warning of this problem long before COVID-19 hit. According to their website, roughly 80 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients are currently produced overseas. This action looks to bring back the manufacture of those ingredients back to the United States.

“The United States’ drug supply chain is broken, becoming dangerously dependent on foreign suppliers for our most essential generic medicines,” the company’s website explains.

“Manufacturing of these essential drugs has migrated to China and India over time,” said Dr. Frank Gupton, another co-founder of Phlow Corp. “I think that the COVID-19 epidemic has kind of shone a light on this gap that we’ve got right now and the ability to produce our own drugs.”

The White House called the move “historic.”

“This is an historic turning point in America’s efforts to onshore its pharmaceutical production and supply chains,” said Peter Navarro, the president’s top trade advisor. Navarro said that the new project “will not only help bring our essential medicines home but actually do so in a way that is cost competitive with the sweatshops and pollution havens of the world.”

The new deal looks to address a long-term problem in the healthcare industry, which has only become more acute during the coronavirus crisis: Getting the necessary drugs needed to maintain an adequate supply. Such procurement often involves teams of people calling wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers and still coming up short on supply.

“It’s like an auction,” said Arash Dabestani, director of the pharmacy at NYU Langone Health in New York. “Whoever screams the loudest gets it.”

Sounds like a rather rickety system for securing the nation’s drug supply. But Gupton believes that this new contract signals a new and better way of securing those vital supplies and bringing drug manufacturing back to the United States.

“We believe this work can revolutionize America’s drug manufacturing model by enabling Phlow to produce affordable ingredients used to manufacture essential medicines in the U.S.”

As Edwards explains, it’s critical for the nation to plan ahead, not only for coronavirus, but for other unexpected events in the future.

“When there is a trade dispute or a natural disaster or a pandemic that creates a vulnerability in the supply of one or more drugs, as soon as we see that vulnerability begin to manifest itself, Phlow Corporation will pull that active ingredient out and we’ll work with our conversion partners, such as Civica, to make the finished dosage form, then get into the Strategic National Stockpile,” Edwards said.

“I cannot emphasize enough how vulnerable our supply chain is and how critical some of these drugs are in shortage.”

In this increasingly uncertain world, it’s only prudent for America to have its own supply of essential drugs.


Xobor Create your own Forum with Xobor