United States Representative Abigail Spanberger addressed the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering to announce the introduction of legislation to create an emergency supply of key ingredients used in essential generic drugs and to encourage domestic manufacture of these ingredients.
Promoting readiness and ensuring adequate supplies of Spanberger’s essential drug active pharmaceutical ingredients (PREPARE Act) would help create and sustain new jobs in the growing biopharmaceutical industry in the Richmond area and help strengthen the US national pharmaceutical supply chain.
The United States currently depends on other countries for a range of pharmaceuticals, including many active ingredients essential to the manufacture of generic prescription drugs. Generic drugs represent 90% of all prescriptions filled in the United States, and approximately 87% of generic drug establishments are located overseas.
“Our bill is a step forward in addressing these issues by creating an essential drugs list and ensuring that the supply chains for these drugs are based here in the United States, using the latest technology. “said Spanberger. “The bill also recognizes that Virginia is leading the way in that future. Along with the creation of new jobs, with this expansion comes a clear vision, a vision for local and US pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing, a strong national supply chain and a strong workforce. of skilled labor that will be essential to ensure that our country is competitive and wins in the 21st century.
Spanberger’s PREPARE Act would require the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to maintain a list of essential generic drugs and build a nationwide supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed for those drugs, with a preference for domestic manufacturers and contractors.
VCU’s College of Engineering was chosen as the venue because of its preeminence in developing methods to reduce pharmaceutical manufacturing costs and address potential vulnerabilities in the national supply chain.
VCU Engineering’s Medicines for All Institute is an internationally recognized leader in efforts to improve generic drug manufacturing by reducing waste, reducing costs, and reducing pollution. Founded in 2017 to provide essential drugs to developing countries, the Medicines for All Institute added domestic drug manufacturing to its portfolio in 2020 to ensure the United States does not face drug shortages.
“We have been working globally for years to develop new, cost-lost methods for the production of drugs to treat HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. This has led us to apply the same principle to generic drugs that are needed in the United States, as well as in other parts of the world, ”said B. Frank Gupton, Ph.D., the Floyd D. Gottwald Jr. Chair in Pharmaceutical Engineering and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Life Sciences at VCU.
The college plays a key role in training the highly skilled workforce of chemical and pharmaceutical engineers who will be needed to meet the mandate of the PREPARE law to strengthen the country’s supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients for a stock national. VCU and VCU engineering School of Pharmacy currently offer the country’s only PhD in Pharmaceutical Engineering.
VCU Engineering is well positioned to help train the workforce that will support the PREPARE law’s emphasis on national pharmaceutical manufacturing, as its approach “extends to the medical campus, the chemistry department, the chemistry department. physics and business school ‘to solve complex and holistic problems. problems, said Gupton, CEO of the Medicines for All Institute.
At VCU Engineering, Spanberger and Gupton were joined by VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D; VCU Council of Visitors Rector H. Benson Dendy III; VCU Provost and first vice-president for academic affairs Fotis Sotiropoulos, Ph.D .; and ChamberRVA President and CEO Brian Anderson.
“We thank MP Spanberger for her leadership on this important issue,” said Rao. “The PREPARE law is an important step forward for our national security and our economy. ”
Gupton said Spanberger’s announcement to VCU Engineering signals an important alignment of government, industry and academia to address one of the most pressing issues facing healthcare in the United States today. hui.
“Today almost all of the active ingredients and / or their raw materials for Americans’ essential drugs come from overseas, leaving us vulnerable to shortages,” Gupton said. “The efforts that MP Spanberger and her team have focused on to address this issue are a major step towards our country’s self-sufficiency in access to health care. ”
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