Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Trump Strikes Deal To Produce Vital Drug Ingredients In U.S.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced a deal with upstate New York company Eastman Kodak in an effort to start bringing back vital pharmaceutical drug ingredient manufacturing to the United States, an apparent response to strains emphasized during the China-originated novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, China accounted for 46% of the share of active pharmaceutical ingredient exports in 2019; the U.S. accounted for 10%.
“My administration is using the Defense Production Act to provide a $765 million loan to support the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals,” Trump announced Tuesday, adding that it’s a “breakthrough in bringing pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States.”
“The coronavirus shows the importance of bringing manufacturing back to America so that we are producing, at home, the medicines and equipment and everything else that we need to protect the public’s health,” Trump said.
According to a report published Tuesday from The Wall Street Journal, the deal with Kodak is intended to “help expedite domestic production of drugs that can treat a variety of medical conditions and loosen the U.S. reliance on foreign sources.”
“The onetime leader in photography sales is gearing up to produce ingredients for a number of generic drugs, including the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine that President Trump has touted in the treatment of coronavirus,” the report outlined. “Meanwhile, the U.S. is aiming to shift from relying on countries such as China and India, Kodak Chief Executive Jim Continenza and U.S. officials said.”
The loan is from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and is said to be the “first of its kind under the Defense Production Act,” the Journal said.
“The Trump Administration is signing a Letter of Interest supporting a deal to transform Kodak into a pharmaceutical company that can help produce essential medicines in the United States,” outlined a press release from the White House. “When the deal is final, the CEO of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will use his delegated Defense Production Act (DPA) loan authority to provide a $765 million loan to launch Kodak Pharmaceuticals, which will create at least 360 jobs.”
Last week, Trump signed four executive orders designed to significantly lower prescription drug prices for Americans, including prices for insulin and epinephrine.
The directives to the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) will “[e]nd a shadowy system of kickbacks by middlemen that lurks behind the high out-of-pocket costs many Americans face at the pharmacy counter,” the department announced Friday.
“The four orders I’m signing today will be on the prescription drug market in terms of pricing and everything else to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans,” Trump said, surrounded by health care professionals. “The first order will require federal community health centers to pass the giant discounts they received from drug companies on insulin and EpiPens directly to their patients. You know insulin became so expensive people weren’t able to use it. They desperately needed it.”
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