Two U.S. senators on opposite ends of the political spectrum have nevertheless found an issue on which they can work together in pursuit of a common goal.
According to Breitbart, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently introduced a bill called the “U.S. Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Review Act,” which seeks to direct the Federal Trade Commission and Treasury Department to review the nation’s dependence on foreign drug suppliers.
“We must take control”
The issue has gained prominence amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which served to reveal weaknesses in the pharmaceutical supply chain.
Rubio issued a statement stressing the importance of his proposal, insisting that the public health crisis “has made it painfully clear that we must pass meaningful legislation in order to help rebuild our nation’s medical manufacturing and pharmaceutical sector.”
Warren expressed similar sentiments in her own statement.
“To defeat the current COVID-19 crisis and better equip the United States against future pandemics, we must take control of our supply chain and rely less on foreign countries for our critical drugs,” she said.
Author Rosemary Gibson, who serves as chairwoman of the Coalition for a Prosperous America Health Committee, was among those who praised the bill’s efforts.
“The COVID-19 pandemic revealed serious vulnerabilities in U.S. supply chains and made clear that we must combat America’s dependence on foreign nations for essential generic drugs, antibiotics, vaccines, PPE, and other critical health care products,” she asserted.
“Policies we need”
According to Gibson, the legislation represents “the exact kinds of policies we need from Washington to address this serious vulnerability and restore essential medicine production.”
Despite the current political climate on Capitol Hill, the issue of pharmaceutical drugs has previously provided common ground for senators who are otherwise partisan opponents.
In 2019, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) worked with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to promote the RESULT Act, which was designed to allow the import of cheaper prescription drugs.
“This is a commonsense reform that should garner bipartisan support from Congress,” Cruz said at the time, according to the Washington Examiner. “The RESULT Act is a much-needed reform of the FDA to expand access to medical innovations, mitigate critical drug shortages, and lower the cost of medical devices and drugs.”