Trying to find a silver lining to the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic can be challenging. However, one such silver lining is how the pandemic highlighted our fragile supply chain here in the United States, if not the world’s global supply chain. The world’s supply chain issues existed before the pandemic, and they have only grown worse since. There doesn’t seem to be an industry that isn’t affected in one way or another.
Before the pandemic, our health care industry was experiencing shortages regularly of basic medical supplies, including pharmaceuticals. The problem is now even more severe.
The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director said, “Historically, the production of medicines for the U.S. population has been domestically based. However, in recent decades, drug manufacturing has gradually moved out of the United States.” Now nearly 3/4ths of the active ingredients used in medicines sold in the United States are produced overseas. Today, the majority of pharmaceutical production takes place in China and India.
In an interview Senator Chris Coons, D-Del said, “If we have another global pandemic that leads to the world to close borders and leads global supply chains to shatter or to break down, we are distinctly vulnerable because we are now dependent upon globally integrated supply chains.”
Many will remember donning their mask and venturing out into the eerily quiet streets to visit an essential business such as the grocery store only to see bare shelves. We have lived through supply chain shortages caused by a global pandemic, but many other potential causes may disrupt our fragile supply chain. Other causes include local disasters in the countries or cities of pharmaceuticals factories or a terror attack on infrastructure anywhere along the supply chain.
At JASE Medical, we are on a mission to help our community prepare for the worst. We want to empower our neighbors to be self-sufficient and not have to rely on others when it comes to their well-being. We are starting that mission with emergency use antibiotics.