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Carter launches bipartisan caucus to secure America's pharmaceutical independence

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Rep. Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (GA-01) formed the bipartisan Congressional Domestic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Caucus, a new working group in Congress that will focus on re-shoring and protecting the U.S.’s pharmaceutical manufacturing base. 

The Caucus plans to help advance legislation that incentivizes more domestic production for critical medicines to reduce American reliance on foreign countries, head off potential supply chain disruptions, and ensure a steady supply of pharmaceuticals in the event of public health emergencies or natural disasters. Carter’s co-chairs for the caucus include Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12). 

“Securing our pharmaceutical supply chain is critical to combating the rise of foreign adversaries like China and protecting patients here at home,” 
said Rep. Carter. “As a Georgia pharmacist for four decades, I saw firsthand what timely access to affordable medications means for patients. I’m proud to be working across the aisle in establishing the Domestic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Caucus, because national security and pharmaceutical independence impact all Americans, regardless of political party.”

“This has been over a year in the making: I’m launching the bipartisan Domestic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Caucus to advocate for policies that will bring critical manufacturing back to the U.S.,” said Rep. Slotkin. “If COVID taught us anything, it’s that we can’t allow our country — as well as our military — to be dependent on others for absolutely critical supplies. There’s a bunch of Members of Congress, across the political spectrum, who have learned those hard COVID lessons and are hellbent to ensure we don’t leave ourselves vulnerable again. In 2021, I led a task force to evaluate our defense supply chains, and pharmaceuticals were one of the specific issues we investigated. Re-shoring pharmaceuticals will reduce our dependence on other countries, bring jobs back to places like Michigan and help drive down costs for consumers across the country.”  

In both 2020 and 2021, Carter introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at bolstering America's domestic pharmaceutical production, including: 

- The Essential Medicines Strategic Stockpile Act of 2021 establishes a three year pilot program that would create public-private partnerships to stockpile generic medications that are at risk of experiencing shortages. The state stockpiles will be acquired, managed, and distributed by the state, and will serve to supplement the federal Strategic National Stockpile

- The 
State Stockpile Readiness Act of 2021 establishes a pilot program to award dollar-for-dollar federal matching grants to states to expand or maintain a strategic stockpile of commercially available drugs, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and other medical products deemed essential in the event of a public health emergency. 

- The 
MADE In America Act is a bipartisan and bicameral answer to the call to bolster our nation’s pandemic preparedness, reduce shortages, and accelerate the adoption of innovative manufacturing technologies.

“One of the most valuable lessons of the pandemic is that we need to be better prepared for future emergencies by increasing domestic manufacturing of critical medical products,” 
said Rep. Bilirakis. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in establishing this Domestic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Caucus to help us achieve that important readiness goal.” 

“Domestic manufacturers are the backbone of our economy and are critical for this country’s continued innovation and national security advantage,”
 said Rep. Houlahan. “I am proud to launch this bipartisan caucus that will work together to find policy solutions that secure supply chains and promote U.S. jobs.”