Sunday | October 18, 2020

Opinion: Made in America Act would improve access to medicines, provide jobs in SC

Patients in the US have faced drug shortages for years. This was illustrated amid the current pandemic, which was exacerbated by shortages of PPE (personal protective equipment), testing ingredients and drugs required for COVID-19 treatment. 

Although America remains the world’s top innovator in life sciences, it dramatically lags countries such as China and India in the manufacture of antibiotics, active pharmaceutical ingredients formulated into tablets, capsules and medicines (API), vitamin C, many medical devices, and PPE.

While South Carolina reaps extraordinary benefits from foreign investment by international manufacturers, returning the manufacturing and sourcing of life sciences products to our country and state is not only a powerful economic driver – it’s a path to national and global stability. 

Sen. Tim Scott is championing draft legislation that would help bring pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the US. The Manufacturing API, Drugs, and Excipients (MADE) in America Act would incentivize pharmaceutical and PPE manufacturing in designated “Opportunity Zones,” using tax credits to encourage production of vital products and ingredients in America. With 135 eligible Opportunity Zones in South Carolina, thousands of acres could be leveraged for this powerful growth opportunity.

Scott’s legislation would bolster the domestic pharmaceutical supply chain, create new high-paying jobs here, and help our life sciences industry ensure that South Carolina patients can access the care they need. It would improve FDA reporting of facility inspections, tighten relationships with overseas regulators, and streamline the FDA standardization processes for overseeing pharmaceutical manufacturing to help mitigate drug shortages.   

Opportunity Zones are already changing the face of America, lifting traditionally underserved areas, and delivering positive impacts here at home. The recent announcement of 1,400 new jobs and a $314-million high-tech agribusiness investment was catalyzed by an opportunity zone in Hampton County, one of South Carolina’s most poverty-stricken and rural locations.

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The MADE in America Act would help South Carolinians access critical medicines, add high-paying jobs here, and encourage companies like Nephron to do what they do best – innovate, grow, and improve untold lives.

 


By:  Lou Kennedy and Sam Konduros
Source: Go Upstate
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