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U.S. dependence on China for medicine

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EdwinSm, View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 14 2020 at 2:41am
U.S. dependence on China for medicine is a major problem

From an opinion piece in the Seattle Times

Originally posted by The Seattle Times The Seattle Times wrote:

Right now, millions of Americans are taking medicines made in China — medications sold in big box stores and pharmacies, administered in hospitals, and used by Veterans Affairs and military facilities around the world. This is different from illegal fentanyl or the counterfeit drugs sold on the internet.

Over the past 30 years, much of the U.S. drug manufacturing industry has relocated offshore. With generic drugs comprising 90 percent of the medicines that Americans consume, there’s a growing reliance on China for many essential medications. The U.S. no longer makes penicillin, for example. The last U.S. penicillin plant closed in 2004.

Now, the U.S. has virtually no capacity to make generic antibiotics used to treat ear infections, strep throat, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, Lyme disease and other illnesses. As far back as 2001, when the U.S. government needed to buy 20 million doses of Doxycycline in response to anthrax attacks, it turned to a European supplier that sourced its ingredients from China.

There are other generic drugs made in China, including anti-depressants, birth control pills and chemotherapy medications. China also supplies medicines that treat Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and other conditions.

China now dominates global drug production. Even India, with its large generic drug industry, relies on China for 80 percent of the key ingredients it uses to make generics.

In five to 10 years, the U.S. will have largely lost its capacity to manufacture most generic drugs. That will leave the nation almost entirely dependent on Chinese companies.
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oakviolet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oakviolet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2020 at 5:02am
Thanks for posting this. Yes, yes, yes. I've been saying this for days in our house. The entire medical supply system in the U.S. (and worldwide) depend upon China. Not only may items not be produced (or produced in typical numbers) but China will have an increasing reason to stockpile what they have for their own population. Nowhere have I seen public health officials discussing this issue in any depth. There was a superficial piece in the NYT the other day but that's it.
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Emswally View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Emswally Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2020 at 6:16am
The last manufacturing facility of Penicillin in the US closed in 2004
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Technophobe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2020 at 8:41am
Oops!

There is always India - for now.
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Penham View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2020 at 8:53am
Wow! This surprised me. I thought the US made a lot of their medication.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Emswally Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2020 at 10:03am
I think I read somewhere that China produces up to 85 % of our medications
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