House Introduces Companion Bill to Senator Hawley’s “Medical Supply Chain Security Act”

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

As the Coronavirus outbreak raises concerns of medical supply shortages, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) have introduced companion legislation to U.S. Senator Josh Hawley’s (R-Mo.) Medical Supply Chain Security Act. The bill would strengthen medical supply chains by giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to analyze sourcing locations of medical products and help more quickly bring products to market should shortages exist.

“The coronavirus outbreak in China has highlighted severe and longstanding weaknesses in our medical supply chain. This is more than unfortunate; it’s a danger to public health. Our health officials need to know the extent of our reliance on Chinese production so they can take all necessary action to protect Americans. This legislation will give us the information we need to better secure our supply chain and ensure that Americans have uninterrupted access to life-saving drugs and medical device.”

Senator Hawley

Rep. Gallagher said, “Our overreliance on products made in China doesn’t just threaten our medical supply chains. It threatens public health. As the coronavirus outbreak highlights how vulnerable access to critical medicines and medical products can be, it’s clear we need to find better ways to assess vulnerabilities within our medical supply chain. By allowing the FDA to identify our overreliance and swiftly take the necessary corrective actions, this bill would allow us to get upstream of potential shortages and better protect Americans access to critical medicines and lifesaving supplies.”

Rep. Pocan said, “With the continued spread of the coronavirus resulting in numerous deaths in the United States, it is imperative that we provide the FDA with tools they need to better prepare for responses and shortages in medical supplies. We need this legislation because currently no law exists requiring medical device manufacturers to notify the FDA when they become aware of a potential shortages or even requiring them to respond to the FDA’s requests for information about the medical device supply chain. Due to our dependence on foreign manufacturing, we need to better understand the threat that supply chain shortages for life-saving medical devices have on patients in America, and we must ensure our government is able to prepare accordingly.”

Senator Hawley introduced his bill (S.3343) in the U.S. Senate on February 27, after reports of potential drug shortages due to the Coronavirus outbreak in China.