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After pandemic, US senators want review of drug supply chain

WASHINGTON: Republican and Democratic US senators called for a government analysis of foreign influence in the US pharmaceutical supply chain on Tuesday (Jun 30), saying the coronavirus pandemic has exposed an over-reliance on China and other countries for the production of essential drugs.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren will introduce the US Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Review Act on Tuesday.

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The bill would require the government to study the effects of relying on foreign companies and foreign investment for the production of pharmaceuticals for the US market, and provide a report within one year, according to a copy of the legislation seen by Reuters.

"To defeat the current COVID-19 crisis and better equip the United States against future pandemics, we must take control of our supply chain and rely less on foreign countries for our critical drugs," Warren said in a statement.

China is one of the countries that invests in US drug companies, but the senators are also interested in getting a view of all foreign investment in the US pharmaceutical industry, an aide said.

Republican President Donald Trump has long pledged to bring US manufacturing back from overseas, but the coronavirus and concern about dependence on imports, particularly from China, has spurred a flurry of new activity.

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