The United States is counting on receiving the majority of its medical care from China, where the coronavirus has infected more than 80,000 people and killed more than 3,200. When Chinese medical care factories went back into operation last month, their first priority was their own hospitals. If the outbreak subsides, these factories could fight to survive. China has laid the foundation to dominate the protective and medical care market in the coming years.
The pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of some aspects of the U, S. Readiness and policy changes are clearly justified. Chamber of Commerce: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the United States a heavy toll on lost lives and increasing economic difficulties. While our resilience is undeniable, the pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of some aspects of U S.
But will we choose the right solutions? A number of lawmakers have passed legislation to address some shortcomings. Some of these suggestions are based on the idea that the United States is dangerously dependent on Chinese medical devices. While some of these bills take an advisory approach, others call for rapid action to force companies to “rebuild” medical device and pharmaceutical production. Before policymakers move forward, it is imperative that we first identify the real problems and then develop the right solutions.
What are the facts? According to a World Trade Organization (WTO) report on 3. April on medical goods trade, worldwide production of medicines, medical supplies and equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE) is widespread all over the world. The worldwide shipping of medical goods accounts for about 5% of the merchandise trade. For pharmaceuticals and other medicines, the United States is also a major manufacturer and exporter, and China is hardly a dominant supplier. With regard to the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), which are the most important building blocks of pharmaceuticals, the U, S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported in October that “China only has a modest percentage of facilities that can produce APIs for the US,. China has 230 (13 percent) of API manufacturing facilities for all regulated drugs, while the United States has 510 (28 percent), and the rest of the world has 1048 (59 percent). Regarding the products on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of essential medicines, the FDA states: “There are a total of 1,079 API facilities worldwide that make the 370 drugs on the WHO list that are marketed in the USA. Of these, 166 (15%) are in China, 221 (21%) in the United States and 687 (64%) in the rest of the world.
Tariff lines table and background) As the United States is a major producer of medicines, imports only make up part of the domestic consumption of these products. A Bloomberg report states: “St.. Louis Fed estimates that final pharmaceutical product imports account for about 30% of the US. Chinese-made drugs? According to Ana Maria Santacreu, senior economist there, only 0.5%.
Given these facts, what needs to be done to ensure a safe supply of medical devices? First, pandemic preparedness for some products can only be tackled through early stockpiling. The problem is not that domestic production is inadequate (although it is). Rather, the problem is that in a global health emergency, the entire world’s production is inadequate. However, just-in-time production of PPE from domestic and foreign sources cannot meet the amazing demands of a pandemic.
Instead, pandemic preparedness experts have for years called on governments to prepare themselves by storing these vital products in large quantities. For other medical products, solutions other than storage may be more suitable. As mentioned above, the global production of some medical devices, including pharmaceuticals, is spread across dozens of markets, and that’s a good thing. The variety of offers has long been a touchstone for strategic planning.
Ahead of the recent dramatic rise in the U, S. Oil and gas production, the fact that the United States imported oil not only from the Middle East but also from Canada, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Colombia, was widely recognized as a means to reduce risk. In addition to our robust domestic pharmaceutical production, the United States now relies on a variety of suppliers to mitigate potential supply chain risks. Census data: Ireland (21%), Germany (13%) and Switzerland (12%) are the most important sources of US.
Ten other countries (eight in Europe as well as India and Japan) each account for between 3 and 6%. A final element of pandemic preparedness must be to keep trade open. There is ample evidence that export bans and other trade barriers reduce the availability of urgently needed medical care in the short term and affect our industrial competitiveness in the long term. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told his Canadian counterpart in early April: “International cooperation to contain COVID-19 transmission and address the public health threat caused by the pandemic is essential, and the United States is committed to working with its international partners “to ensure the viability of international supply chains for critical medical care.
There are also long-term effects. The United States has strong, aggressive interests (in trade policy usage) in the production and export of medical goods. Export sales of medical devices, to name just one example, are an important driver for growth and job creation. Ensuring the long-term competitiveness of our export industries will pay off in the post-pandemic recovery.
For complex industrial goods such as these, trade barriers threaten to disrupt international supply chains, in which parts are manufactured and ultimately assembled in value chains that go back and forth across national borders. Keeping trade open is also about America’s compassionate values. Think about how organizations like the AIDS Institute, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Kidney Fund, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and Susan. Komen recently wrote to President Trump to insist that government policies “should not restrict access to drugs or medical devices that are currently available or destabilize the supply chain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed serious deficiencies in pandemic preparedness in the US and around the world. We need to learn from this dark experience. In our quest to ensure a safe supply of medical devices, we need to be much more serious about warehousing, ensuring diversity of supply, and maintaining trade. It’s important that we learn the right lessons and protect our supply chains for a better future.
However, there is an important distinction to be made between medicines and medical aids such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE). It’s no secret that the United States has struggled to meet the demand for medical devices, but this shortcoming is due more than anything else to poor government planning. The entire US range of essential medical devices is fairly diversified, with China accounting for 28 percent of total imports and the European Union supplying 18 percent. In addition, 70 percent of major medical devices are manufactured in the USA.
When he presented the first panel, Larry Glasscock, senior vice president of Global Accounts, MNX Global Logistics, and member of the SNS Standing Committee, said that previous discussions about the global medical supply chain had heightened his awareness of the spread of third-party manufacturing of medicines abroad supplies and also the importance of the global market for raw materials and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), from which medical devices and medicines are derived. For years, Chinese leaders have feared that the country is too dependent on foreign sources for everything from medical supplies to microchips to aircraft. Hospitals and other medical facilities can purchase supplies through a group purchasing organization or negotiate directly with retailers or wholesalers, who all do a larger part of their online business. The United States is counting on receiving the majority of its medical care from China, where the coronavirus has infected more than 80,000 people and killed more than 3,200.
Patients who need supplies on their own often look for them in medical care stores that sell to the public and in chains such as Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart. While it was still a major net exporter, China’s need for medical care has more than doubled its PPE import over the same period. General purpose kits are still used primarily by healthcare professionals on a patient and include medical aids that are routinely used in multiple procedures. Medical care has been identified as one of the largest expenditures in the budgets of most healthcare organizations, second only to staffing.
Not surprisingly, medical organizations facing critical bottlenecks hoard both information and supplies. Sichuan Province, for example, halved the number of categories for which medical devices and consumables could be imported. So there are many ways to get medical care and equipment into the hands of medical professionals and even people who provide medical care or perform a procedure themselves at home.
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