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Two lawmakers have introduced a bill they say aims to create an emergency supply of key ingredients used in essential generic drugs.

Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) uphold the 2021 bipartisan law promoting the preparation and securing of stocks of appropriate active pharmaceutical ingredients of essential drugs (PREPARE) which would also encourage the domestic manufacture of ingredients as a means of strengthening the country’s supply chain.

“COVID has reminded us that we are too dependent on foreign countries for generics and pharmaceuticals,” Cassidy said. “This bill brings enough production back to the United States to make America better prepared.”

Features of the bill, authorities say, include extending an executive decree requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish and make public a list of essential generic drugs medically necessary to be available at any time. The bill also includes the creation of a new Director of the Strategic Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients Pool within the HHS to manage a national reserve of essential active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) as well as a new federal entity to identify, purchase, track, transport, manage, store and convert an emergency supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients for essential generic drugs.

“The pandemic has exposed gaping holes and vulnerabilities in our supply chains – perhaps none are more critical than our medical supply chain,” Brown said. “This bipartisan legislation will help build emergency capacity for essential medicines here in the United States. “

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