FIRST ON FOX: Republican doctor lawmakers warned that the amoxicillin shortage under President Biden could ‘devastate’ the American healthcare system.
Several lawmakers on the GOP Doctors Caucus spoke out about the shortage of the medication that treats pneumonia, bronchitis, and other bacteria-related infections.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup, one of the co-chairmen of the GOP Doctors Caucus, told Fox News Digital that no ‘patient or American family should have to worry about finding a necessary and simple antibiotic like amoxicillin.’
‘Just last month, my family experienced this problem firsthand when amoxicillin was completely unavailable for my five-year-old daughter,’ Wenstrup said. ‘This shortage is emblematic of the difficulties the country faced sourcing needed medical supplies during COVID19, which is why I introduced the American Made Medicine Act.’
‘Our government, Congress and the White House, must work together to help create and solidify a reliable domestic supply chain so that we are independently in control of our health and national security,’ he continued, warning that ‘China has created a virtual monopoly on pharmaceutical ingredients and routine medications.’
‘It is up to us to turn this ship around,’ Wenstrup added.
Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., a pharmacist and GOP Doctors Caucus member, told Fox News Digital the ‘Biden Administration must use all the resources at its disposal to address the amoxicillin shortage.’
‘The Administration has tunnel vision on COVID-19, as evidenced by its recent transfer of funds from hospitals and frontline health care workers to COVID-19 vaccine PR campaigns, and that led to today’s shortage, which could devastate our health care system and directly harm our nation’s children if it is not urgently addressed,’ Carter warned.
Tennessee GOP Rep. Diana Harshbarger told Fox News Digital said that, in her three decades as a pharmacist, she has ‘experienced firsthand the difficulties of accessing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and finished pharmaceutical goods like amoxicillin,’ noting the shortage ‘is a problem that has existed for decades.’
‘In the 1980s, the Chinese Communist Party went all in on pharmaceutical manufacturing, subsidizing the manufacturing costs of standard generic medicine like amoxicillin,’ Harshbarger said. ‘That, along with their unethical, cheap labor practices, allowed them to corner the market.’
‘Overregulation from the FDA, EPA, and other bureaucrats made an untenable business environment adding to China’s stranglehold on our supply chain,’ the pharmacist lawmaker continued. ‘Domestic generic manufacturers are an anomaly, and I am proud to represent US Antibiotics, one of the only turnkey amoxicillin manufacturers in the US.’
Harshbarger said the U.S. needs ‘to immediately roll back red tape and incentivize companies to onshore manufacturing’ back to American shores.
‘This is now a national security threat. China does not need to fire a round or drop a bomb,’ Harshbarger warned. ‘They could simply cut off our access to medicine, and the consequences would be catastrophic.’
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesperson Jim McKinney told Fox News Digital the ‘FDA recognizes the potential impact any drug shortage may have on health care providers and patients.’
‘While the agency does not manufacturer drugs and cannot require a pharmaceutical company to make a drug, make more of a drug, or change the distribution of a drug, the public should rest assured the FDA works closely with manufacturers to prevent or reduce the impact of shortages,’ McKinney said.
The FDA also said drug shortages could happen for many reasons, including supply chain issues and quality problems, and that the public can get updates on drug shortages on their website.
The lawmakers’ warnings come as the U.S. faces a shortage of the antibiotic that is frequently used as children’s medication.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently added amoxicillin to its list of drugs that are currently experiencing shortages, its website reported.
Amoxicillin, specifically the ‘Amoxicillin Oral Powder for Suspension,’ was added to the FDA Drug Shortages list on Oct. 28, 2022.
‘Drug shortages can occur for many reasons, including manufacturing and quality problems, delays and discontinuations,’ said the FDA.
‘Manufacturers provide FDA [with] most drug shortage information, and the agency works closely with them to prevent or reduce the impact of shortages.’