As fears about the spread of the novel coronavirus continue to grow, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at securing America’s medical supply chain.

Discussing the bill entitled “The Medical Supply Chain Security Act,” on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Hawley said the proposal would amend the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to monitor medical device shortages with greater accuracy and efficiency.

SEN. HAWLEY INTRODUCES CORONAVIRUS BILL AIMED AT SECURING MEDICAL SUPPLY CHAIN

“We’re looking at potential shortages of up to 150 commonly prescribed antibiotics and anti-viral medications,” Hawley explained. “That’s bad. The problem is in whole or in part, these drugs are made in China. What we need to do is give the FDA new authority to figure out what components are made in China … [and ask] ‘Is there going to be a shortfall?’ If there is, give them authority to fast-track new devices, new pharmaceuticals to take their place.”

The bill would swap the words “shortage of a drug” for “shortage of a drug or device,” and allow the FDA to expedite the review of essential medical devices that require pre-market approval. Drug and medical device manufacturers would be obligated to provide the FDA with an annual report about their manufacturing capacity as well.

If the bill became law, manufacturers would have to disclose details about “all locations of production, the sourcing of all component parts, the sourcing of any active pharmaceutical ingredients, and the use of any scarce raw materials.” They would also be subject to FDA requests for any supply chain information that the agency deems necessary.

Hawley said the coronavirus outbreak brought the issue to light, and he hopes his legislation will be the first step in bringing medical supply chains back to the United States.

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“This is one of those things that over the last couple of decades, as with so much else, we watched so many jobs go to China, so many industries go to China. We’ve had all of our elites telling us there’s no problem with this, it’s secure and fine,” Hawley said.

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“It’s not secure. The coronavirus is exposing that. Just as with our manufacturing base, so too with our medical supply chains. They’re exposed when they’re in China. That’s why long-term, we need to bring them home and I hope legislation like this will be a first step.”

“We’ve been told for years, ‘No problem. It’s not an issue,'” Hawley concluded. “It’s a big issue and it’s time to take affirmative steps to secure the supply chains and bring them back here.”

Fox News’ Nick Givas contributed to this report.



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