Congress Seeks Formal Investigation Into Foreign Investment in US Pharmaceutical Industry

On June 30, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the U.S. Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Review Act, calling for a formal investigation into foreign influence on the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Secretary of the Treasury, acting through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), to conduct a study on the effects of foreign influence and direct investment on the production of pharmaceuticals for the U.S. market, and provide a report within 1 year of passage.

“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,” Sen. Warren said in a statement. “Our bill will require a study to show the effects of this overreliance and identify the tools we need to confront it head-on.”

The two Senators previously collaborated on the Strengthening America’s Supply Chain and National Security Act, introduced in March 2020, which is a bipartisan action that called on drug manufacturers to disclose of the volume of active ingredients sourced from China, and requested that the Department of Defense determine if the extent of foreign pharmaceutical dependency qualifies as a national security issue.

Sources: Reuters, June 30, 2020; press release from Senator Elizabeth Warren, June 30, 2020.