WASHINGTON — The pandemic showed how fragile the supply chain can be, and to fix it, the United States needs to treat health care like a national security issue, said experts at a health conference here on Monday.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), speaking on a panel at the Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit, warned that if the country had another pandemic or faced a bacterial biowarfare threat, “and we don’t have the capability to produce antibiotics in our country, we’ve got a problem,” she said. “So it’s a national security issue. We need to be dependent upon ourselves.”
Dingell said drug shortages at the University of Michigan, which she represents, far exceed the FDA’s current drug-shortage list of more than 100 drugs. That campus has nearly 500 drugs in shortage, including basics like steroids and lidocaine.