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Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Needs to be Bolster, says Biden

If you believe that improving the Pharmaceutical supply chain in the United States is a national priority, you may be mistaken. Take a look at the awful state of affairs in Morgantown, West Virginia. Viatris, which was formed last year through the merging of Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn unit, will close a decades-old generic-drug production plant this week, resulting in the loss of over 1,200 employees. Another 200 or so will be sent the following year.

The manufacturing is being outsourced, primarily to India, where Mylan already has multiple facilities. This has sparked a political maelstrom in a state where jobs are urgently needed. According to an estimate commissioned by The Democracy Collaborative, a nonprofit think tank that opposes the factory shutdown, the layoffs will cost the local economy $403 million in wages and $62.8 million in state and local tax receipts over the following year.

However, it isn’t just West Virginia that is suffering. So is the United States, where generic drugs account for 89 percent of all prescriptions dispensed. According to a Viatris spokesman, the plant produced around three billion doses last year, but she wouldn’t reveal how many were destined for the U.S. market.The drugmaker had stated that 20 billion doses were produced in 2016 when a company-wide restructure occurred, production was gradually relocated abroad, and significant quality control issues were addressed. Even yet, three billion doses is a large number. Despite this, the Biden administration has made no public statements about the closure and has shown no signs of interfering.

And the seeming lack of action is perplexing. Last month, the White House released a study warning about the U.S. supply chain’s reliance on foreign Pharmaceutical production, calling it a “key risk.” One number, in particular, stood out: Outside the United States, 63 percent of all plants that produce completed generic dosages are situated.

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